Barmy Army beware: the Fanatics are waiting

The Barmy Army have been called many things – delightful, charming and eloquent aren’t often among them. When England were in the doldrums in the early 1990s, the Barmies’ antics on tour were considered irritatable, pointless and loutish by many. That soon changed, though, through clever marketing and a general appreciation from the public and media. England were losing Test matches with an ease not seen for decades, yet here were hundreds of fans cheering them on.

They were quite influential during last summer’s Ashes, too. Or, if they weren’t there en masse in England, their cheerleaders were and gradually helped spread Ashes fever among the “normal” crowd through the series. They’ve had quite an impact I’d say. What, then, do you make of this?

The MCG, which has been renovated since England played there four years ago, will be bursting with 100,000 supporters for the first two days of the Boxing Day Test. And there are plans to take on the Barmy Army, too. The Australian version of the Barmies – the Fanatics – will have a battle bus at every match and singer/songwriter Greg Champion – Australia’s answer to Chas & Dave – will perform during lunch and tea breaks. But the Barmies are old hands at Aussie-baiting. They are busy adapting Tony Christie’s Amarillo for Shane Warne. He will not like the results.

Never heard of the Fanatics myself. Scott? Any other Aussies reading? Can’t wait for “Show me the way to Amarillo.” Suggestions for Shane Warneing it below, please.

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