Hunter at the Crikey Sports Desk writes

Although the first ball of the 06/07
Ashes series won’t be bowled until November, the event is well and truly under
way for English cricket fans.

The BBC yesterday reported
plans to limit the number
of tickets available to travelling supporters for the Adelaide Test to
2000 each day. A spokesman for the Barmy Army
suggested the limit had been imposed at the request of Australian
players who “are not happy with the abuse, as they call it, towards
and have said they don’t want a situation where England fans group
together and give
them stick out there.”

Is there any truth to this? Glenn
McGrath is quoted in this morning’s Herald
as saying, “If you play in front of your home crowd and they’re 90 per
cent English, it’s not really a home crowd, is it?”

But Cricket Australia denies players help decide
ticket quotas, saying it has its own processes for allocating and pricing
tickets for overseas visitors. Details
of the final ticket packages will be announced by Cricket Australia after a board meeting on February 6.

The Barmy Army’s website goes further, urging fans to “contact
all those Aussie mates you taunted when we won
the Ashes last summer, and beg and grovel for their help with getting tickets
next winter … ”

These comments are more than likely a
reaction to an announcement made by Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland in December. As Fox Sports
reported, Sutherland said that “strict limits would
be placed on the number of tickets available to overseas visitors and they
would only be available from licensed tour operators.”

Anyone who recently applied for
World Cup tickets will tell you that doesn’t bode well for English cricket

But with Cricket NSW announcing
there’ll be 5500 tickets available for overseas visitors for each day of the
Sydney Test, and similar numbers at other grounds around the country, there
won’t be nearly as many disappointed English cricket fans as there are
Australian soccer fans. And with those numbers through the gate, you can bet they’ll
still make a decent ruckus from the stands.