No problem with Barmy Army: Ricky

Cricket: The Ashes: ECB asks fans to respect the Australian captain

Cricket supporters in fancy dress arrive in the ground during the third cricket Test match between England and Australia in Birmingham.

ECB Chief Giles Clarke said ahead of the fourth Test at Headingley, starting Friday, that Ponting has “earned the respect and courtesy” of the crowd and that the game may “never see his like again”, reported leading British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

Ponting, however, said he did not mind the abuse and the banter while describing the “noise” at the Edgbaston ground as a “terrific atmosphere” which added to his Ashes experience.

“One of the memories I will take from Edgbaston was the extraordinary noise. I am told that some people have been upset about the fact that some England fans were booing me but I thought that it was a terrific atmosphere to play in and I loved every minute,” he wrote in his column.

“I have said for a long time that the Barmy Army are the best sporting crowd in the world. I don’t care what sport you are talking about or what country - they are unbelievably good supporters. There is never anything untoward.

“It is always good light-hearted stuff and when England have a good sniff of winning, the volume goes up tenfold.  The Edgbaston crowd were not the first to boo me this summer - but they were the loudest. Which makes sense, because Edgbaston is famous for being the bullring of English cricket,” he said.

But Barmy Army General Manager Katy Cooke insisted they were doing a great service to the England by disturbing a great batsman like Ponting . “We weren’t responsible for the booing of Ponting. From what I can gather it was pretty tongue in cheek. If we can do a bit to get under his skin and stop him concentrating 100 per cent then we are doing a service to the England team,” he said.

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