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Barmy Army boss: England can still win T20 Cricket World Cup

Chris Millard, the managing director of England cricket’s Barmy Army, is standing next to the 9/11 World Trade Centre memorial in the heart of New York City watching India beat Pakistan in the world’s biggest cricket match.
Chris Millard, the managing director of England cricket’s Barmy Army, is standing next to the 9/11 World Trade Centre memorial in the heart of New York City watching India beat Pakistan in the world’s biggest cricket match.

Chris Millard, the managing director of England cricket’s Barmy Army, is standing next to the 9/11 World Trade Centre memorial in the heart of New York City watching India beat Pakistan in the world’s biggest cricket match.

“It’s great. It is amazing, it is very good to see cricket in a new market being consumed differently to what it is like where we know it,” he tells City A.M.

“It is a sign of the times. When I started this role eight years ago, to say I would be in New York watching cricket would have been a long way off.

“But we are at that tipping point and it is exciting to see. But it is a shame England aren’t here in the States. It is absolutely thriving.”

England on the brink

Not only are Jos Buttler’s England not in the States – their T20 Cricket World Cup group games are in Barbados and Antigua – but they might find themselves out of the region and on a plane back to their homeland very soon.

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After a rained-off no-result against Scotland and a demolition defeat at the hands of Australia, England are on the brink.

They need to beat Oman on Thursday and then Namibia by huge scorelines to give themselves a shot at progression. Even then, they need a favour from their neighbours north of Hadrian’s Wall.

And, given their losses to the USA and India, Pakistan could join England in being finalists from the 2022 T20 Cricket World Cup who fail to reach the knockouts this time around.

“There’s a good chance England and Pakistan won’t be there,” Millard adds. “Who’d have thought it? It’s typical England – and Scotland to some extent – to go all of the way to Barbados to have a game rained off.

“It’s quite ironic but Scotland started well and have shocked everyone a little bit and they deserve their chance.

Good chance

“But I wouldn’t put it past England. I think they stand a relatively good chance of qualifying despite the precarious position they seem to be in at the moment.

“They need to win big but look at the two teams they’re playing. No offence to either of those two sides but you’re talking about a world-class England who has underperformed with some serious big-hitters in there.

“It only needs two or three big hitters to come out and make it a ridiculous score in both of those games. Of course it is weather and pitch dependent which is never easy in the rainy season of the Caribbean.”

When you go to the cricket with the Barmy Army – whose Emprise Group owners also run Joe Root’s R66T Academy – you’ll hear the famous trumpeter play the tones of The Great Escape theme tune.

And that’s exactly what England need now as defending T20 Cricket World Cup champions.

“Of course they can do it,” says Millard. If only the rest of us had so much hope for Matthew Mott and his side.