Aussies privately seething over Barmy Army antics

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Yorkshire (UK), Aug.6 (ANI): The Australian cricket team is privately seething over the recent antics of the Barmy Army.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Barmy Army's merciless taunts at Edgbaston, have prompted cricket officials to address the situation.

The players have privately said that they are annoyed, but are reluctant to go public with their concerns for fear of riling the British fans before the vital fourth Test at Headingley, starting on Friday.

That the matter is being viewed seriously can be gleaned from the fact that England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke has expressed sympathy for Ricky Ponting and pleaded with fans not to boo the Australian skipper.

When the team got off the bus at Edgbaston for the final day, Army members waved a sign in their faces saying, ''Thanks for the Ashes'', but then, a local tabloid claimed that some players responded by swearing at them.

Ponting was booed throughout the match and Mitchell Johnson was the butt of many songs.

Katy Cooke, the general manager of the Barmy Army, insisted that her group was not jeering, while admitting it had tried to get ''under his skin''.

''We weren't responsible for the booing of Ponting. From what I can gather, it was pretty tongue in cheek. He is one of the best, if not the best, batsman in the world and if we can do a bit to get under his skin and stop him concentrating 100 per cent on his batting, then we are doing a service to the England team,'' Cooke was quoted, as saying.

Ponting was not overly concerned by the treatment he received, but behind closed doors the Australian players believe the Barmy Army has gone over the top.

"Cooke said: ''I have a framed letter on the wall, handwritten by Michael Vaughan thanking us for all the support we have given him and the team during his captaincy and to carry on the hard work. We are supporters of the England cricket team and as long as we get that feedback, we're not doing anything wrong.'' (ANI)

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