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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 May, 2004, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
ECB launches fans' club
England fans in the West Indies
England fans are extremely loyal and this provides added value for them
ECB commercial director Mark Sibley
The England and Wales Cricket Board has launched an official supporters' club for the national team.

The aim is to create "a community of cricket fans for all international matches, both home and abroad".

England have received noisy backing from the so-called Barmy Army for many years but the new club offers a range of benefits at an annual cost of 45.

They include automatic entry into a members' ballot for tickets to all home international fixtures.

"All the players are really behind the launch of the club," said England captain Michael Vaughan.

"We've got a busy and challenging programme of international matches in the next couple of years, including an Ashes series, and our supporters are a massive part of that."

The scheme follows the establishment of a similar club for supporters of the England football team.

All money raised will be re-invested to help develop English cricket at grassroots level.

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