Supporters of the England cricket team
Welcome to the official website of The Addis Army, a bunch of cricket fans that follow the England cricket team all round the world on every England tour. Our group was formed back on the 2004/05 tour to South Africa when for reasons best known to ourselves, we went to South Africa via Addis Ababa on the glorious Ethiopian Airlines. This is our official website, read on and enjoy and if you see us at games please come over and join us for a beer or two.
What do the England players think about the Addis Army? Here's England leading run-scorer Alastair Cook thanking the Addis Army for its support on tour.
The Addis Army were formed back on the 2004/05 tour to South Africa, when for crazy reasons we ended up in Ethiopia. Read how it all begun.
Want to know what life is like watching England on tour? Read our books, England's Secret Army and Disgruntled DownUnder, only £9.99
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Ian Gould, former international umpire
October 2019 - July 2019 saw the sad international retirement of one of the games characters, elite umpire Ian ‘Gunner’ Gould. Gouldy has been a good friend of mine for a number of years, so I was delighted when he kept his word and gave me his first full post-retirement interview.Read more
Angus Fraser, former England and Middlesex seam bowler
March 2019 - It’s time to rewind the clock back to the 1990s for this month’s interview. A bowler who was consistent, hugely accurate, a wicket-taker and someone who, but for injury and strange selection decisions, should have played many, many more Test matches for his country, Angus Fraser.Read more
Jeremy Snape, former England, Northants, Gloucs, Leics All-rounder
February 2019 - I’m going to begin this month’s interview with a question. What has Shane Warne, Gareth Southgate, Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir David Brailsford, Sir Mo Farah, Sir AP McCoy (note all the Sir’s!) and Mathew Pinsett all got in common? Answer: They have winning ‘mindsets’ and have all been interviewed by one of the World’s leading sports psychologists.Read more
Adam Hollioake, former England ODI and Surrey captain
January 2019 - hen people are asked to name their most admired captains from the late 1990s one person’s name comes up more than most, former Surrey and England one-day captain, Adam Hollioake. And when you look at his record it’s a difficult one to argue: 3 county championships, 2 Benson & Hedges Cups, a NatWest Pro 40 League title (and division 2 title), a Twenty20 Cup and then throw in the Sharjah Cup with England, you have a truly phenomenal haul.Read more
Calum MacLeod, Scotland batsman
October 2018 - It’s not often you get to speak to someone who has opened both the bowling and batting at an ICC World Cup and who earlier this year scored one of the finest ODI hundreds against England, a mightily impressive 140 not out, off of just 94 balls - Scotland’s Calum MacLeod.
Owais Shah, former Middlesex and England batsman
July 2018 With the Test series against India fast approaching and questions still being asked about the make-up of our batting line-up and in particular who will bat at number 3, this month we speak to arguably one of the most stylish top order batsmen to have played the game in the early 2000s.Read more
A surreal experience
March 2020 - So much for moving into Spring with hope for a new season filled with glorious summer sunshine. The prospect of some excellent cricket to look forward to is wishful thinking right now. With much of the world in lockdown, and financial uncertainty gripping every household, the presence of sport on our television sets is restricted to ‘iconic matches’.Read more
Sri Lanka Politics
March 2020 - Politics is a delicate topic in Sri Lanka. For all we may feel that Brexit has polarised British politics into two camps that will hurl rocks at each other unceasingly, the long-running ethnic and religious divide in Sri Lanka has been on an entirely different level. Its impact has trickled into cricket which can be read as a barometer of peacefulness on the island.Read more
Bill Lockwood - an Obituary
March 2020 - My brother-in-law, Bill Lockwood, died of leukaemia on 7 March in a hospice in Adelaide. He was the Australian we all liked. A lifelong member of South Australia Cricket Association, he never missed an Ashes Test at the Oval. Many of you will remember that evening in 2013 when nearly a dozen Addis piled out of a minibus into the garden of his house in the Adelaide Hills, laden with carriers of beer and wine for the barbeque.Read more
Bring back the John Player Sunday League
March 2020 - Here was me desperately waiting to hear from my solicitor that the sale of my house has finally gone through and that we can set exchange and completion dates. The move has been on and off for the last 9 months and Mrs Don and I were so looking forward to a quieter way of life. I was looking forward to moving within a 15 minute drive of Chelmsford so that I could have more of an excuse to catch some leather on willow action.Read more
It is players (not coaches) who win cricket matches
February 2020 - The ‘New’ South Africa Under Mark Boucher need more than time to excel, if it is to impact the current team and transform the underpinning structures that enable their national team to enjoy healthy competition for places.Read more
South Africa Review
February 2020 - So the real cricket’s over and what a series it was! Plenty of Addis made it out to watch a Test or two and the cricket was certainly entertaining. I’m now looking back on my predictions and hopes from December to see how well they have aged.Read more
As they might say in downtown Johannesburg, voetsek!
February 2020 - Back in June last year I was thinking about spending the winter in South Africa but didn't want any rushing around like has happened in the past. No waking up in a different room each night whilst moving on to the next test. The continual living out of a suitcase and lugging it around. So a new plan was needed, not one that I'd ever considered.Read more
As they might say in downtown Johannesburg, voetsek!
February 2020 - What a win. What a collection of individual performances. We have only just gone and beaten the Saffers in their own back yard. Make no mistake; the enormity of this series win should not be underestimated. To consider that sickness tore through the England squad and decimated the ranks, to come back and win 3-1 is a fantastic achievement.Read more
South Africa Preview
December 2019 - So the South Africa tour is nearly upon us. The players and backroom staff have arrived and as you read this I will have arrived back in Africa. We are looking at a four-test series (let’s be honest, no one cares about the rest of it) and we should be looking for some very enjoyable away victories.Read more
Midnight's latest tour diaries
The Tipping Point
27th January 2020 - The last few days in Port Elizabeth were a real anticlimax. Deciding to stay on for an extra couple of days after the Test to sunbathe by the pool, my plans were frustrated by the horrible weather and in particular, the constant rain. England wrapped up the Test win just in time it seems. Others had different plans. Smithy and Bob took their car north to Bethlehem in order to visit the Zulu war sites at Rourke's Drift and Isandlwana.Read more
What the Buttler saw
21st January 2020 - Just a few legacy issues from the last diary to box off. Once I fell into the J-Bay lifestyle I enjoyed the place immensely. Highly recommended. Busy doing nothing. I think I could easily live as a surfing beach bum if I learned how to surf and lost three stone. A special treat on Monday night was an African KFC - three chicken pieces, chips and gravy with a drink for three quid.Read more
A cricket idiot abroad
13th January 2020 - Thank you first and foremost to Nadima and her helpful staff at the Lord Nelson for making my stay in Simons Town such a pleasant one. I'm still buzzing from the Cape Town Test, if Port Elizabeth is half as good, most of us will be happy. Four day Tests, my arse. When there is a sizeable gap between Tests, if staying on tour, what to do with the time is always the dilemma.Read more
The Talented Mr. Sibley
8th January 2020 - To recap, I had booked flights down to Cape Town on the 30th January - on what would have been day five of the Centurion Test - and England's 'unexpected' collapse on the afternoon of day four actually suited my travel plans rather well. My hotel in Simons Town, the Lord Nelson, had arranged a taxi to collect me from the airport on arrival, namely Malcolm Pringle Shuttles.Read more
Don't Mess With Big Vern
1st January 2020 - It only seems hours since I was in New Zealand, but I was home long enough to catch the dreaded man-flu that has affected most of the country, including our Test squad. Hacking and spluttering, I took off from Manchester Airport with Lufthansa to the Frankfurt hub.Read more
A Message to the Hamilton Tourist Board
3rd December 2019 - Off up the Coromandel Peninsula again after the Mount Maunganui debacle, this time to the east, Whitianga. Sad to leave my hosts at the Seaside B & B, Bob and Marion, who felt like old friends after just a week at their place. Many thanks to you both for all your help - until we next visit the Mount!Read more
27th November 2019 - With some sadness, we left Whangarei. Our motel there, the Kensington, has been the most comfortable on our journey thus far and hosts Sandra and Paul exceedingly helpful. Sharing the driving, Five-O and I travelled in a southerly direction heading for Thames, on the Coromandel peninsula - which is a much nicer town than the image its name might convey. An ex-gold mining settlement now given over largely to tourism and our midway stop on the road to Tauranga.Read more
Warming up in Whangarei
17th November 2019 - I left Taupo on Monday morning, after the T20 series clincher, to travel to Auckland for my rendezvous with Five-O. Thankfully, the weather had cleared up a little after Sunday's washout and I hoped this would make the 275k drive more straightforward. Ron, the motel owner, popped out of his office to ask if everything had been okay.Read more
Big Trouble in Little Taupo
16th November 2019 - Firstly, thank you for the many kind comments received regarding the previous diary. Positive feedback is always nice, and even if the feedback is negative it is better to be disliked than ignored. Anyway, its taken on board, and I've written less this time. Taupo was my next stop. A two hour drive northwest out of Napier along SH5, which at home would probably be a scenic drive.Read more
Everything's Iconic Nowadays
8th November 2019 - Since the last diary, I have been contacted by an ECB marketing manager - a Scotsman who freely admits knowing nothing about cricket - asking me to 'cool it' regarding the Hundred competition.
I think it was the same guy that did an ECB County Members presentation at Old Trafford who, when asked about the target market for the Hundred once the existing cricket fans had been frozen out, replied:"I might know nothing about cricket, but I do know that Mum buys the tickets!"Read more
No Room for Racism (or the Hundred)
3rd November 2019 - At first glance, the itinerary for this tour looked disappointing, even for an addictive Kiwi visitor like myself. Just two Test matches - one of which is at Hamilton, whose parochiality and lack of attractions make it just about the only town in New Zealand without its own fridge magnet. No one day internationals, which were the highlight of our last visit in 2018. Instead, five T20 matches alternating between South and North Islands, which would mean travelling up and down like a yoyo to attend them all.Read more
The Oval Test
18th September 2019 - Here we are at end of a tumultuous season. After the miracle of Headingley we were brought back to earth at Old Trafford. Smith is an immovable brick wall, batting as serenely as I have ever seen anyone, in a time zone of his own, where nothing is missed and a sixth sense that tells him exactly what the bowler will offer him.Read more
The Old Trafford Test
14th September 2019 - At least I managed to escape the rock I live on for the second time in two weeks and join the usual reprobates for the much awaited fourth test. Usual preparation on the eve of the event was, guess what, alcohol and curry. Sets you up for day 1.Read more
Latest blogs by the Skipper
Supporting Derbyshire – Through Thin and Thin
April 2019 - No-one supports Derbyshire Cricket Club for the glory. No one supports them for the regular cup finals at Lords or to see a side bristling with England Test players.To support Derbyshire CC you must be from Derbyshire and really love cricket. In fact you must be from Derbyshire, really love cricket and have a sado-masochistic streak.Read more
Horses for Courses v Stability and Loyalty
February 2019 - In the Third Test England finally picked a team for the pitch conditions and Hey presto won a Test. Obviously England's turnaround in fortunes can't completely be explained by picking Wood and dropping Bairstow down the order, but it did at least make an uncompetitive team competitive.Read more
October 2018 - Over my 40 years of watching Test Cricket, England have always had at least one quality, experienced opening bat. Most of that time we often had two. Through Boycott, Gooch, Atherton, Stewart, Trescothick, Strauss and Cook, each new opener had an experienced man at the other hand and eventually grew out of their shadow to become great themselves.Read more
Welcome to the Cheap Seats
June 2018 - The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has angered English Cricket Supporters by selling all the best seats at the Galle, Mandy and Colombo Tests to a corporate hospitality company who are changing between £40 and £110 for day 'packages'.Read more
Couldn't give a toss
May 2018 - Later this month the ICC will discuss a proposal to either give the away captain the choice of whether to bat or bowl or the option that the County Championship has chosen which is the visiting captain gets to either bowl first or revert to the toss to decide who bats first. The aim of this change is to stop home sides doctoring pitches to suit themselves and to improve the record of away teams on tour.Read more
Putting Day/Night Tests into Context
April 2018 - When I first heard about Day/Night Tests the tradionalist in me bridled at the idea. Then I realised I was going to a Day/Nighter in Auckland and I liked the prospect even less. However I didn't want it to spoil my tour in any way so I tried to attend with an open mind.Read more
Ben Stokes and Alex Hales: Morality v Legality
October 2017 - One late night in Bristol, two England cricketers were drunk and in that danger zone between club and taxi. We have all been there. Anyone who has left a city centre pub or club at 2am and took longer than 5 minutes to get in a taxi has seen people looking for a confrontation.Read more
Which non cricketing country would you love to start playing the game?
August 2017 - Something a bit different from me this month. Instead of my usual ramblings I want to pose a question to you! Which non cricketing country would you love to start playing cricket so England could tour there? It can be absolutely anywhere!Read more
Who dropped JR?
June 2017 - The recent England ODI team has been like Theresa May started this election campaign. Strong and stable. Everyone knew the team and everyone in the team knew there jobs. Roy Hales Root Morgan Stokes Buttler Ali Woakes Plunkett Rashid Wood.Read more