The Barmy Army’s musical maestro, Billy ‘The Trumpet’ Cooper, is backing England to come good in Sri Lanka and level the series after a difficult start to the tour.
We had a bit of a difficult start to the tour in Galle. The ticket problem was a pain and made things difficult from my point of view because there were pockets of supporters and we couldn’t get everyone together for a singsong.
The cricket obviously wasn’t great from an English perspective but the team’s performing much better here in Colombo. It was a shame Straussy couldn’t go on and get a ton but it was good to see him find some form and get a fifty at least and hopefully we can go on to win this one.
There have obviously been a few batting collapses but the bowlers have done brilliantly and a win here will set us up well for India at the end of the year. The last thing we want to do is go over there and get hammered – we don’t want other teams to be able to say we only win at home.
We’ve been a bit spoilt for a while, winning all the time and being the No.1 side in the world, and this has brought us back down to earth. But the Barmy Army is all about supporting the team whether we’re winning or losing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always more fun when we’re winning, but we always try to get behind the boys and keep singing when we’re losing as well.
Sri Lanka’s something of a favourite for the Barmy Army, particularly after Australia last winter, which was outrageously expensive. It’s a lot cheaper, the food’s good, the weather’s good and the people are very friendly. It’s just a shame it’s a two-Test series because it would have been nice to get over to Kandy as well.
A few random tunes always crop up on every tour and we’ve had a few this time around. We’ve got a new song for Jonny Trott to the tune of Phil Collins’ You Can’t Hurry Love (“You can’t hurry Trott… No, you’ll just have to wait”) and a few of the guys are working on a song for Samit Patel, so hopefully we’ll have something for this match.
Playing the trumpet might not be quite as much hard work as the bowlers steaming in to bowl, but it is tough in this heat! I’ve got a towel with me to wipe the sweat off my face – I feel like an old man!
Next week it’s back to the real world and I’ll be freelancing in London, doing some concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, but you’ll see me at the cricket come the summer. I always try and get to Lord’s (even though I’m not allowed to play there) and I’ll be at The Oval, Edgbaston and hopefully Headingley too to see us take on South Africa.
Click here to read the Barmy Army’s backing for Andrew Strauss