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19 April 2024

'Barmy Army' told to behave in Abu Dhabi

Spectators wearing England shirts watch the second cricket Test against Pakistan at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. (REUTERS)


The Barmy Army fans will not be allowed to pull off their tops while watching the second cricket Test between Pakistan and England starting in Abu Dhabi from Wednesday.

Once the Barmy Army takes the stands, they can enjoy the sun, but cannot take their tops off as the gentle warning already on the fences reads: "Our dress code is very simple, please keep your clothes on."

Around 500 Barmy Army fans are here to watch the three-Test series and the number can increase once the four one-day and three Twenty20 matches are played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Dilawar Mani, the chief executive of Emirates Cricket Board said Barmy Army has been asked to follow dress codes in Abu Dhabi.

"We have a strict dress code in Abu Dhabi so we are going to ask the Barmy Army, in a light-hearted way, that people keep shirts on," Mani told AFP, hoping the fans enjoy the best of hospitality on offer.

Most of the English fans have reserved places on the mounds on either sides of the ground to enjoy the sun, and Barmy Army Colts tour operator Mark Stears said the fans will follow the rules.

"The fans from England will follow and respect the rules," said Stears from St. Albans. "They will not be taking their tops off like they do elsewhere in the world because of the dress code."

But the situation was different when the fans were in Dubai for the first Test.

"We were allowed to take the tops off in Dubai, maybe they had different dress codes," said Andrew Martin. "But here we have to follow the dress code and the cold here will make it difficult to take the tops off."

Dubai and Abu Dhabi had rare windy weather, with temperatures dropping as low as nine degree over the past two days.

Stears said fans have enjoyed the Gulf visit.

"It is rare that the Barmy Army travels to this part of the world which is not known for cricket," said Stears of the United Arab Emirates, to where the series was shifted over security fears in Pakistan.