Northampton: Rod Marsh is the embodiment of old-school cricket, playing hard on the field and often living hard off it, too, in regards to celebrating performances.

Even with that background he has a simple message for anyone damning the policy that allows players to have partners and families with them on tour: what would make the banishment of them so worthwhile?

"Well, what do you want? Do you want divorces? Do you want players unhappy?" asked Marsh, on the same day Brad Haddin was granted an early release from the Ashes squad to return to Australia for personal reasons.

There was bewilderment that players' spouses were being made to share culpability for the team's on-field inadequacies against England in the Ashes.

"You can't play cricket unless you see your family. You're going to be less happy as a person and they all say it. All the players say it. You're going to be less happy if you don't see your family," Marsh said.

What Marsh is not satisfied with - the other extreme, in fact - is the way Australia have batted in the Ashes, describing their first-innings performances in particular as deplorable. But he is adamant he would have picked the same crop of batsmen if he had his time over.

Courtesy: SMH