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CA to prevent Barmy Army buyout

Tickets for Ashes will go on internet sale to Australians on June 1 and to overseas buyers on June 19.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 12:51 IST

Australian cricket officials moved on Wednesday to prevent a Barmy Army buyout of seats for this year's Ashes series by offering tickets to Australian residents three weeks ahead of English fans.

Tickets for Tests, limited-overs internationals and Twenty/20 matches in the Ashes series, which begins Nov. 23, will go on internet sale to Australians on June 1 and to overseas buyers on June 19.

"This is going to be the biggest summer of cricket that we've ever seen and we want to make sure that Australian cricket fans are there and make up the majority of the crowd," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.

"At the same time we're wanting to welcome as many English fans as possible to Australia."

The England cricket team is often accompanied on overseas tours by thousands of fans who make up the rowdy, colorful Barmy Army. Cricket Australia said its move to stagger ticket sales was made to ensure English fans did not outnumber Australians in their own stadiums.

Sutherland said steps would be taken to ensure some tickets were set aside for English tour groups and that early buyers did not on-sell tickets.

"We've announced the tour program six months ahead of what we normally would and that's just (because of) the sheer demand and public interest that's out there right now," he said, adding that the record Test attendance of 90,800, set at Melbourne in 1961, would almost certainly be broken.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 12:51 IST