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Silencing the Barmy Army would be crazy: Botham

Posted By: Staff

Leeds (UK),Aug.7 (ANI): Former England captain and star all-rounder Ian Botham has termed calls for silencing the Barmy Army as ridiculous and crazy.

In article for The Mirror, Botham questioned moves by the ECB to curb the chat of fans loyal to the England cricket team.

" It's called home advantage. What do people expect from the crowd? They are England fans and it is fair to expect them to be with the home team and against the away team. That's the same everywhere around the world.Each crowd has their own way of going about it. Telling the England fans to keep a lid on their songs and banter is like telling the Indian fans to keep it quiet when Sachin Tendulkar walks out to bat or hits a boundary," said Botham.

While admitting that a few buffoons could over extend themselves in their raucous behavior, Botham said it was plain and simple rubbish to demand a "sterile atmosphere" on a ground where a Test match is on.

"By and large the fans are well behaved and they should be applauded for supporting the side as well as they do. The fans are there to enjoy themselves. They pay their money to go and watch the cricket and with that comes a bit of banter which makes for a cracking atmosphere. Ricky Ponting couldn't care one iota whether some fan gives him a boo when he goes out to bat, you'll find he's got much more on his plate to worry about than that,"Botham said.

He also said that England are one-nil up with two games to play and have a real chance to clinch the urn now. With or without all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, Botham said England must go for the big push and put the Aussies to bed once and for all in Leeds. (ANI)

Story first published: Friday, August 7, 2009, 16:11 [IST]
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