Ashes 2017/18 in doubt, England’s ‘Barmy Army’ may go bankrupt

England have already announced that their men and women cricketers will not be sent to Australia if the payment dispute is not resolved on time, which could throw the 2017/18 Ashes series in doubt

cricket Updated: Jul 11, 2017 18:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Ashes 2017/18,Australian national cricket team,England cricket team
Barmy Army supporters, who travel with the England team all over the world, might go bankrupt if the 2017/18 Ashes is cancelled following the unresolved pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricket Association.(Getty Images)

The potential cancellation of the upcoming Ashes 2017-18 due to the ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian players could not only damage Australia’s reputation, but it’ could render England’s ‘Barmy Army’, the nation’s most famous cricket fan group of supporters bankrupt.

The pay dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has already missed the June 30 deadline and more than 200 men and women cricketers are currently unemployed.

The Ashes 2017-18 begins November 23 at The Gabba in Brisbane and unless there is no solution, the most awaited Test series might not going to take place.

England have already announced that their men and women’s team will not be travelling to Australia in case the payment dispute is not sorted out in desired time.

This leaves the Barmy Army — the noisy supporters of the English cricket team who turn up in large numbers to support their team irrespective of where it is playing — with the risk of losing a big amount of money on the bookings they have already made.

According to The Telegraph, the co-founder of the Barmy Army, Dave Peacock says that the organisation has already paid up money in advance for close to 30,000 England fans expected in Australia.

“There are 30,000-plus fans travelling to Australia this year, and they’ve already booked their flights, hotels, tickets and tour. We’re already committed to paying for all of this, as well as things like Christmas dinner for 800 to 1000… all our merchandising and T-shirts, and plans for a massive New Year’s Eve party in Sydney… From a logistical point of view, we would go bust if it didn’t go ahead,” Peacock was quoted as saying by Fairfax Media.

Peacock informed that 1,100 fans have already booked the official tour, which is double the count from England’s last trip to Australia in 2013-14.

“[The Ashes] is on the bucket list of so many sports fans who’ve shelled out between GBP 15,000 and 20,000 for the 51 days [of the series]. Why can’t they get on and talk together and negotiate together and thrash out a deal so we can all get on and plan ahead?” he urged.

The rupture in the talks regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already resulted in players boycotting Australia A’s tour of South Africa, and next on the line are the national team’s tours to Bangladesh and India. While Australia are set to play a Test series in Bangladesh, their Indian sojourn will see the Steven Smith-led team — if at all the tour happens — competing in a limited-overs series.

First Published: Jul 11, 2017 18:32 IST