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The Barmy Army and its passage through India

A member of the Barmy Army fan club of the England cricket team, Colin Bloomfield amuses cricket fans dressed as Charlie Chaplin, which helps raise funds for charity.

cricket Updated: Dec 09, 2016 22:55 IST
Harit N Joshi
It is all balmy at the Wankhede as a member of the Barmy Army, England cricket team’s fan club, dressed as Charlie Chaplin’s iconic tramp character poses with a supporter of India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
It is all balmy at the Wankhede as a member of the Barmy Army, England cricket team’s fan club, dressed as Charlie Chaplin’s iconic tramp character poses with a supporter of India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (HT Photo)

Barmy Army, the passionate club of England supporters who follow their team everywhere, is known to be vocal and in your face when it comes to supporting its team.

The few hundreds who have descended at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday are soaking in the sun as they are prepare to get behind their team, who have just come on to field after Alastair Cook’s men were all out for 400 in the first innings.

Among them, one fan stands out. The 66-year-old Colin Bloomfield is dressed as Charlie Chaplin. He dresses up as the iconic tramp, played by the renowned English comic actor and early Hollywood figure, to raise funds for charity in the United Kingdom. (SCORECARD)

Proceeds from the ongoing Test series in India, which would be around 10,000 pounds (approx Rs 8.5 lakh) per Test, will go to a hospital in the UK.

“I am sponsored by Just Giving (a charity organisation). They arrange my travel and accommodation, and all I have to do is go to the ground dressed as a Charlie Chaplin. I feel great to be a part of such a noble cause and I get to watch matches all around the world. It is fascinating,” said Bloomfield, who works as a steward at the Lord’s ground.

This is Bloomfield’s first tour with the Barmy Army to India. He has travelled with them to Australia, the Caribbean, South Africa and Sri Lanka. (DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS)

“I won a fancy dress competition some ten years back and got a good response thereafter. I have run 10 marathons in Charlie Chaplin’s attire for fund-raising activity. Then someone said why don’t you travel to cricket venues with the England team for charity. The idea was great. The English team recognises me and little kids want to take pictures with me. It feels great,” said Bloomfield.

While India has been badly affected following demonetisation, the Barmy Army is the worst affected. On Tuesday, the members tweeted from their official handle about the difficulties they are facing. “Cash situation in #Mumbai apparently no better than anywhere else. At least you can sit down to queue,” the Barmy Army tweeted.

“We have sufficient UK pounds with us, but the biggest problem is there is a limit of Rs 5000 in a week. That is making things very difficult. Not everywhere are credit/debit cards accepted. It’s a struggle,” he said.