MCC ready to welcome Barmy Army to Lord’s – but told to leave trumpet at home

Barmy Army - MCC ready to welcome Barmy Army to Lord's – but told to leave trumpet at home
Barmy Army - MCC ready to welcome Barmy Army to Lord's – but told to leave trumpet at home

The Barmy Army will have an official presence at Lord’s for the first time ever this summer – although they will have to leave their trumpet at the Grace Gates.

Lord’s, which is owned and run by Marylebone Cricket Club, has become the last home venue to hand an allocation of tickets to the Barmy Army, the supporters group known for following England around the world for the last 30 years.

Until now, the Home of Cricket has resisted allowing them an organised presence at Lord’s, but they have been given an allocation of a couple of hundred tickets together for each day of the Test against Sri Lanka in August.

MCC say it is a trial but both parties are hopeful of a longer-term arrangement. It is, in many ways little surprise that Lord’s is the last English venue to recognise the Barmy Army: MCC and Lord’s are a bastion of the game’s traditions with games soundtracked by a gentle hum and the popping of champagne corks, whereas the Barmy Army are known for loud chanting in support of players (and, sometimes, beer drinking).

MCC has drawn the line at allowing Simon Finch, the Barmy Army’s resident musician, to bring his trumpet into the ground. The ground has a ban on fans bringing musical instruments. The trumpet has long been a central part of the Barmy Army, first thanks to classically-trained Billy Cooper and now Finch, who has performed with the likes of Beyonce and Blur. Trent Bridge is the only other English venue that does not allow the Barmy Army to be joined by their trumpeter.

The Barmy Army were founded on the 1994-95 Ashes tour and has evolved from a hardy group of 30 backpackers into a supporters group that can be thousands-strong, as well as a cricket travel company.

Chris Millard, the Barmy Army’s managing director, said: “This marks a historic moment for the Barmy Army and is something we have been striving for in recent years.

“We are extremely grateful to MCC for trusting the Barmy Army and affording opportunities to loyal Barmy Army members who travel all across the globe to support the England team. This marks a significant moment in our history as an organisation and we are excited to see what the future holds with our partnership with MCC and the historic ground.”

Tickets for this summer’s Test against Sri Lanka have sold more slowly than others in recent times. That Lord’s’ first Test, against West Indies, will also be the legendary England bowler Jimmy Anderson’s last has made it the hottest cricketing ticket of the summer.

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