Monty Panesar DVD – Monty’s Cricket Madness

Dear, dear – oh dear oh dear. The premise behind this tacky-sounding DVD is either a stroke of ingenuity or a bear trap. The DVD promises “a bumper collection of cricket gaffes and goofs” which have been “proudly picked by the Barmy Army”.

In how many of the gaffes will the presenter be appearing, I wonder? Place your orders

Bankrupting the Barmies

A British travel company used by hundreds of England fans, which incorrectly charged its customers vast sums of money following the Ashes, has gone bankrupt. Oh dear.

Barmy Army

More than 200 members of the passionate Barmy Army were hit for six after being unexpectedly billed by Australian hotels for accommodation costs.

This was despite having already paid specialised travel agent Travel and Tours Anywhere Ltd (TTAL) ahead of the trip Down Under.

Some fans returned home to discover their credit cards had been hit with bills of up to $1450.

One man had $300 taken from his account in June, six months after the Aussies won the Ashes series.

Essex credit manager Richard Smith was slugged more than $1400 in January despite winning an all-expenses paid trip to the Sydney and Melbourne Tests through English newspaper the Sun.

More at The Herald Sun.

Ticket to nowhere

The Barmy Army can’t even give tickets away to Australia vs England at Sydney. Fortunately, England’s tour of duty is nearly over. And they are really treating it as a tour of duty.

Gary Hayes is one of South Australia’s most respected and sociable cricket coaches. He coaches Adelaide University’s first-grade side, a club where Liam Plunkett once passed a contented and productive season. His desire to wish Plunkett well at an England net session this week required a security officer to hover a yard from his shoulder, antennae twitching. Hayes is half-Malaysian – he recently coached the Malaysian team – and wonders if that explains it. “Goons,” he concluded, suitably unimpressed.

Had the security team investigated Hayes further they would have discovered that he had also contacted Plunkett during the second Test in Adelaide, the Test where England’s last-day capitulation sealed their Ashes defeat. Plunkett went out for dinner with his one-time coach and some former colleagues but had to eat at a restricted list of restaurants vetted by England. As he left the hotel his Durham colleague, Paul Collingwood, joked that he would not be having room service for the first time on tour. How can it be beneficial for an England cricketer to tour in such a reclusive manner?

This is kind of hilarious. Where do they think they are, Australia or Iraq? What on earth are they so frightened of? It’s hard to imagine anyone telling the likes of Steve Waugh or Matthew Hayden where they could or could not eat on tour. But as an Australian fan, I’m delighted to read this, because no England team is going to come here and win with this sort of mentality.

The evil beach balls at the Gabba

They must be stopped, punctured and brought in for questioning. The Fun Police at the Gabba have been having a ball; harmless fun is now considered dangerous, or rude, or provocative. It has been the one blight on this Test, so much so that the Barmy Army have boycotted out of protest; their bugler was ejected and they’ve been segregated to nullify their “effect”.

It’s pathetic.

Beach ball


Ashes hype on TV in Australia

I suppose it’s understandable with just 62 days to go that Australia is revving itself up for the Ashes. What’s surprising is the nature of these adverts which put the Barmy Army right at the forefront; some might say they’re government propaganda to get Australia out to the Tests (yeah, like that’s gonna be tricky).

I don’t know…there’s just a sense that the England supporters really got to Australia last year and maybe they’re worried about the influx of t’Barmy Army again. Whatever. They’re a lot of fun.

Video: meet the Aussie posse

Barmy Army beware the Aussie posse. I’m clearly a man of simple tastes, or none at all in this case, as I found this short video a bit tickling. It’s Yabba, whoever he is, and he’s training up some recruits to combat the stampede of the Barmy Army this winter. Anyone know who Yabba is? (Click here if you can’t see the video below)

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.

Barmy Army Ashes tours 2006-07

It’s been mere hours since I last mentioned the A word, so it’s high time we mentioned it – and the Barmy Army.

From humble, albeit boistrous beginnings, England’s Barmy Army has morphed into a commercial venture offering serious fans the chance to tour with Brits (and others) following England. From what I can gather, they’re a great help and offer great support to the team; during England’s darker days in the mid-1990s, it always brought a smile to my face that hundreds of people could drunkedly chant “Barmy Army! Barmy Army!” in the face of 70 for 8 with Gus Fraser at the crease. Not Gus’ fault, of course – in fact, he’s an utter legend in Barmy parts and even not-so-barmy parts.

With the own-goal netted by Cricket Australia this week, it looks like the Barmy Army (who according to an insider have deals and connections in the cricket-ticket-world – the illuminati, if you will; ticketing masons, even) have a feast of tickets to go along with their other tour offerings. See here for details.

A Barmy Englishman in India

Phil Long is with the Barmy Army and he wrote an account of the riot at Gawahati for the BBC.

I’m not sure what sparked off the initial trouble but certainly where I was perched it wasn’t the result of any tannoy announcement as there simply hadn’t been any.

Only when the first advertising hoardings were being ripped from their frames to be used as material for the on-terrace fires that followed was a plea of ‘Please be patient’ made – and ignored.

After that, the whole thing snowballed and although I later found out that some injuries occurred I never felt in any particular danger.


This feeling was reinforced by the local police who instead of tackling the trouble head on found it inconveniently coincided with their lunch break.

So we witnessed the somewhat surreal sight of the local constabulary munching contentedly on their lunch as chaos ruled around them.

I don’t think there was anything particularly sinister about the riot. Just the locals were extremely peeved about not seeing any cricket. Sadly, rain interruptions and soaked outfields are just as much a part of the game as reverse swing and cover drives. Anyway, it was a very interesting read by Phil Long.

Bath Dodgers to continue to taunt convicts

Big-mouthed banter between English and Australian supporters is set to continue despite hyper-sensitive ICC officials worried about racism.

The Fanatics and the Barmy Army yesterday both vowed to ignore “political correctness gone mad” and continue peppering opposing teams and fans with good-natured banter this summer.

Their comments come in response to suggestions the old barb “Pommy bastard” may fall foul of cricket’s crackdown on crowd racism.

The issue came to a head this week when an ICC report found “premeditated racist abuse occurred toward South Africa and Sri Lanka during the past Australian summer.

But Cricket Australia’s stance on Australia and England’s friendly feud is over-cautious, according to the Barmy Army representative in Australia Craig Gill.

“Where will it ever stop?” Gill asked. “‘Pommy Bastard’ has been used for years and years and it’s going to be used over and over again.

“As long as it’s said in the name of good humour and good banter no one is going to get upset.”

“Bring it on I say … we’ll definitely be singing about Aussie convicts coming here in chains.”

Last night an England cricket spokesman agreed, saying from London: “It would be more of a surprise if we didn’t hear it (Pommy bastard). Some of the lads probably see it as a term of endearment.

“One of the great attractions of an Ashes series is the fierce competition and good spirit.

“But everyone in world cricket is aware there’s a fine line between fierce rivalry and racism that should never be crossed.”

Which gives me the notion that I should distribute bars of soap to the Barmy Army when they come to Adelaide this summer!