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‘Barmy Army’ inject hysterical energy to England’s eagerly anticipated trip of Pakistan

‘Barmy Army’ inject hysterical energy to England’s eagerly anticipated trip of Pakistan

‘Barmy Army’ inject hysterical energy to England’s eagerly anticipated trip of Pakistan

‘Barmy Army’ inject hysterical energy to England’s eagerly anticipated trip of Pakistan

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  • England stormed to victory in Rawalpindi this week, their first Test tour of Pakistan in 17 years, their “Barmy Army” of ardent supporters erupted in frenetic intensity.
  • The group of fervent spectators sang after England secured a 74-run victory on Monday as the sun was setting: “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to watch England win away.”

Fans wore “bring the noise” T-shirts and sang songs honouring the host country as they directed their contagious cheer toward the downcast home fans. The stadium was flooded with trumpet music.

After a 2009 terror attack on the visiting Sri Lankan squad, international cricket in Pakistan was halted. Test matches, however, resumed in late 2019 when the threat subsided.

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Andy Thompson, a longtime supporter of the Barmy Army, “I couldn’t wait to come back.”
Before “retiring” from his position in the Barmy Army three years ago, Thompson attended an incredible 77 Tests and 22 ODIs while on tour.

“Would you go back to Pakistan, they questioned. I declared that I will leave my retirement because I like this nation “Thompson, who last came during the 2005 Tests, stated.

“I feel really at home here. The friendly grins of the folks are pretty much the same as they were in 2005, and everyone wants to assist you.”

Three backpackers visiting Australia in 1994 started the Barmy Army, which has since become a boisterous fixture at all of England’s games.

The Australian media gave them their nicknames: “barmy” for their cult-like loyalty to the squad and “army” for their enormous numbers.

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The fan group has since expanded into a business, planning travels overseas to watch the England team wherever they play.
According to Chris Millard, the director of the company, “everyone was apprehensive and hesitant” about the return to Pakistan beforehand. However, he continued, “it’s completely different from what we thought.”

It’s most likely the friendliest group of individuals we have ever encountered while on a trip.

The father of batsman Joe Root, Matt Root, was among the throng of fans heading to Multan for the commencement of the second Test on Friday.

Both he and I are delighted to be here, said Matt.

In non-Muslim countries, the Barmy Army is frequently fueled by pints of lager, but in dry Pakistan, supporters forged bonds with rival supporters over a common appreciation of tea.

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Good-natured comments were made about the regional cuisine, which was considered spicy by European standards and avoided by the England squad (who engaged a professional chef).

“Imodium now in high demand among the Barmy Army,” read one poster hanging from the stands in Rawalpindi.

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Matching the zeal of the Barmy Army is the group “Not Out” — “a bit quieter, a bit older” but “on the same side”, according to Ross Midgley, visiting Pakistan with his wife Alison.

“It is a wonderful country and we will spread the word when we get home,” he said.

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