... Allan Border, for instance, hated the concept of wives on tour. The players were there to do a job, and it required complete focus. No distractions. But different eras and different personalities have brought different thinking. When Steve Waugh and John Buchanan assumed the reins of the Australian team in 1999, they agitated for a better deal for families, believing the long periods of time away from loved ones was contributing to the team’s inconsistency. Waugh, in particular, found it perplexing as to why wives were not allowed anywhere near the team hotel, and yet the single members of the touring party could entertain whomever they liked, virtually whenever they liked. As a result, concessions were made. The players were booked into hotel suites instead of rooms so their wives and young families could bunk down with them.

*This is an excerpt - of an excerpt - which we've published in our December 2013 edition from a just-released ebook, Bubble Boys, by Michael Blucher (available as a download, details at www.thirdhalf.com.au). Michael Blucher has seen professional sport from a multitude of angles, first as part of the media, then as a sports marketer and finally as a corporate executive responsible for $6 million in sports sponsorship. For the past eight years, he has been working with some of Australia’s biggest-name athletes, helping them survive and thrive in the spotlight.