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England's Barmy parties on despite low turnout

The Barmy Army is linked to an Indian fan club called the Bharat Army, which was was expecting 1,000 fans but India's early elimination has meant only 500.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2007 01:03 IST

England's Barmy Army is still going strong despite a low take-up of World Cup tickets.

The West Indies tournament has been poorly attended by locals and travelling fans with critics blaming high prices and a stifling of the traditional Caribbean cricket atmosphere.

The Barmy Army Ltd, famed for its vocal support of England on tour through good times and bad, said low fan numbers were expected because of the preceding Ashes series in Australia and the difficulties in touring as many as nine Caribbean countries.

"We've just had the Ashes. The Barmy Army is all about test matches. We had 40,000 people in Australia in the winter and we knew people wouldn't be able to do both, especially with the logistical problems in the West Indies," Barmy Army tour representative Katy Cooke told Reuters on Friday.

The Barmy Army is linked to an Indian fan club called the Bharat Army, which was was expecting 1,000 fans to come out but India's early elimination has meant only 500 are here. Cooke denied rumours the group was now facing financial problems.

"It's had a knock on effect to the Barmy Army but nothing catastrophic," Cooke added. "A lot of them are British-based Indians so now they are supporting England and having a good time."

The biggest problem the Indian fans have faced is the food at the West Indian stadiums.

"There are not many vegetarian options, the facilities are not geared to them," Cooke added.