The BARMIEST of the Barmy Army! England cricket fan belts out ‘Jerusalem’ on Galle’s iconic fort as he watches first Test after travelling to Sri Lanka 10 MONTHS AGO to watch series then never leaving during the pandemic
- England fan Rob Lewis travelled to Sri Lanka 10 months ago to watch the cricket
- But after the original Test series was cancelled, the 37-year-old never left
- His patience was rewarded as the first Test took place in Galle on Thursday
- Lewis put up banners on the fort but local police then told him he couldn’t stay
England’s most patient cricket fan, Rob Lewis, had waited 10 long months in Sri Lanka to see his side finally in action – but after the Barmy Army member belted out the words to ‘Jerusalem’ shortly before play began he was soon kicked off Galle’s iconic fort by local police clearly not sympathetic to his faithful vigil.
The 37-year-old – a web designer from Surrey – travelled out to Sri Lanka last March for the original Test series before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet Lewis stayed out in Sri Lanka in the hope that Joe Root’s team would tour soon and, nearly a year later, his remarkable wait was rewarded and he was videoed signing the iconic England cricket anthem on his own on Thursday morning.
England cricket fan Rob Lewis is in Sri Lanka and aimed to watch the Test on Galle’s iconic fort
Lewis belted out the words to ‘Jerusalem’ on his own – before police said he couldn’t stay
‘I’ve been in Sri Lanka the whole time on blind faith, on a wing and a prayer,’ Lewis told The Times on Wednesday.
‘I thought, “Oh, this coronavirus will be a month. I’ll stay in (Sri Lanka) for that month and then see what happens.” But it rumbled on… there’s never been a point where I thought I should go home.’
Lewis, aka the Barmy Army’s DJ Randy Caddick, has been able to financially support his stay in Sri Lanka since March and was hopeful, pre-match, of being able to watch the whole Test from the fort.
However, he tweeted on Thursday that, having spent all morning putting up banners, local police arrived and told him to take them down and leave.
‘I could get annoyed about the money I spend on rent back home,’ Lewis told AFP. ‘But it’s offset by the cheaper cost of living here.
Lewis travelled to Sri Lanka 10 months ago but decided to never leave despite the pandemic
‘Lucky enough, because it is Galle, we have the beautiful fort to watch (from).
‘I’m going to print a few hymn sheets out and try and get as many people to help me sing Jerusalem as possible.’
Should he have witnessed any action, he would have been pleased with what he saw as England took three wickets in the morning session before going on to skittle the hosts for a meagre score of 135. Spinner Dom Bess took five wickets, while fast bowler Stuart Broad bagged three.