As a sport, cricket has always had to contend with fans of other sports suggesting that it lacks passion and an atmosphere.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, though, with cricket fans and fan groups alike helping to contribute towards some truly memorable encounters over the years. In fact, cricket lovers are some of the most passionate around.
After all, it’s the fans who make the game what it is. Without their unwavering support and evident passion, the sport simply wouldn’t be as successful as it is. Fans spark debate on social media; they sing and chant at matches, alongside enjoying some back-and-forth banter with opposition supporters; they come together in victory and in defeat, and they back up their predictions with some betting on platforms like William Hill sports; they wear team merchandise with pride, and they travel around everywhere following their beloved teams. Without the remarkable support so many cricket-loving nations provide, the sport would be in a weaker position.
With some truly memorable cricket fans and fan groups standing out over the years, let’s salute some of the very best of them below. Without these heroes, who make cheering on their respective sides one of the purposes of their existence, cricket wouldn’t be the same.
The Barmy Army create a truly brilliant atmosphere during England matches, and they’re certainly one of the most passionate sets of supporters in the sport. Founded by three friends during the 1994/95 Ashes series against Australia, the ‘Barmy Army’ name was given to the fan group by the Australian media as they’d never stop chanting no matter what was happening on the cricket pitch. Now, the Barmy Army has dedicated areas for their contingent of fans, and they’re one of the most fanatical supporter groups on earth.
Larry The Leprechaun
Whole fan groups and sets of supporters make the most noise, but they aren’t the only fans that garner attention. Sometimes, individuals like Larry The Leprechaun hog the limelight instead. Larry The Leprechaun, who is actually called Adrian Raftery, shot to fame after supporting Ireland at the 2015 ICC World Cup. Not only was his comical chanting winning people over, but Larry The Leprechaun’s quirky personality and traditional Irish attire made him an instant internet meme. The Irish-Australian man is one of the most passionate supporters around, that’s for sure.
In the same way that Lionel Messi has obsessed supporters and Tiger Woods probably receives fan letters from the same people on a regular basis, MS Dhoni and the Chennai Super Kings have a dedicated lone supporter called H Saravanan. Given his yellow body paint and Dhoni’s name and shirt number being painted on, too, you can’t miss him either. The Dhoni-obsessed fan is one of the most dedicated and loyal supporters on the planet.
Special mention must also go to Gravy The Entertainer, Ram Babu, Bharat Army, Chacha T20, and the Stani Army.