Barmy Army view

The Ashes may already be decided, however there are still plenty of bragging rights at stake for the Barmy Army in Melbourne and Sydney.

Last Updated: 23/12/13 7:13am

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The 2013/14 Ashes may be officially decided as a contest, however you try telling the thousands of England supporters there is nothing left to play for.

A huge band of white and red will descend on Melbourne and Sydney over the coming weeks for two of the most prestigious Test matches in world cricket.

A world record 90,000-plus crowd is expected for day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, while Sydney is expected to sell-out for the first four days.

The tour may not have gone to planned for England so far and Australians are baying for a whitewash, but three Barmy Army stalwarts remain optimistic of a festive fightback.

Paul Burnham - co-founder

Paul Burnham Barmy Army co-founder

As I keep telling the Australians, it's not over yet! We're viewing it very much like it's 3-3 with two games to go and that's not just a whim that's my proper view. This Ashes started in July, it's the same two teams and these last two games mean just as much to us than if we're playing for the Ashes. Australia are talking about being No.1 in the world after three Test wins in a row which I think is a bit premature so we're going to be supporting England and hopefully they can win one or both of these last two Test matches and we can go back smiling and then regain the Ashes in 18 months. We've had a little sulk for the last few days and we just can't wait for Boxing Day. It's disappointing that Graeme Swann has retired. I guess the injury he has had has taken its toll and as a 34-year-old he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life with a problem with his arm. I totally understand his decision, I think he's done it for the right reasons and I'm just disappointed for him that he won't be out there for these two Tests. It wasn't that long ago that Darren Lehmann gave up his spot for Michael Clarke and we can see how well that has worked out and that's how I'd like to look at it. Graeme has been an absolute legend from our perspective, he's always geed us up but the King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Dave Peacock - Barmy Army co-founder

Dave Peacock (top middle)

It's the sixth time we've been here and we've seen it all before. We lost on the first tour, we lost 5-0 in 2006/07, obviously the last tour was amazing but we've come back to reality with a bump here. It's much better to be out here watching it though than stuck at home, getting up in the early hours and being disappointed and annoyed going to work. We've got the buzz of being on tour so it's still fantastic. I predicted that England would win 3-1 and it would be 2-2 at worst but I've certainly been left with egg on my face. You've got to give credit to Australia, they've played exceptionally well. They've won all the tosses but they've outplayed us in every facet of the game. Obviously we're disappointed but we're the Barmy Army, we're loud and proud and we're not going to turn our backs on them now. I fully expect us to bounce back and win one of these last two Tests. I'd like to say good luck to Graeme Swann. He hasn't bowled as well as he wanted to, the Ashes has gone so it's a brave and bold decision to retire. He's been a phenomenal bowler but it gives someone else a chance. Thanks for the memories Graeme, you'll always be one of the Barmy Army favourites.

Vic Flowers - unofficial leader

Vic Flowers: England through and through

Swann has had his swansong! He's made his decision because he feels he is not performing 100 per cent for the team so he's done the right thing. You cannot condemn him for that, I think it's brilliant. It's time to bring someone new in now and give them the opportunity to play for England. He was part of the fabulous win Down Under here last time where the team gelled perfectly but it wasn't to be this time but we'll fight again another day. Spirits are always high in the Barmy Army and we'll always keep singing and support any player in an England shirt, regardless of the outcome. Win or lose, we'll always be there for them.

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