Perth, Nov.4: England's Barmy Army will be reduced to a division this winter because Australia has become ultra-expensive. Around 40,000 supporters flew Down Under four years ago when England were thrashed 5-0 in The Ashes, but organisers expect about half that number this time.
According to The Sun, the problem is the strength of the Aussie dollar with a pound now buying just 1.56 dollars. That has helped hike up prices by around 70 per cent compared to 2006-07 when a quid was 2.6 dollars.
A pint is at least 6.50 pounds in Perth (ten Australian dollars) and a coffee costs a fiver. A standard 600 ml bottle of mineral water from a supermarket is 1.70 pounds - and you can more than double that price in a restaurant.
A two-course dinner with a couple of glasses of wine at a modest eatery will put a 65 pounds dent in your credit card. It is a long way from the days when the Barmy Army taunted the Aussies with their refrain of "We've got three dollars to the pound, we've got three dollars to the pound... "