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Quiet Australia fans love aACAyWaving the Flag'.

Dubai: A group of Australian fans who call themselves the aACAyWaving the Flag' group have set up camp at the Dubai International Stadium during the ongoing first Test between Pakistan and Australia.

Unlike other fan groups like England's aACAyBarmy Army', they are not vociferous. They wave their flags and take in the action as they follow their team at Test matches around the world.

Luke Gillian, who is known by the nickname Sparrow, formed the group, which always keeps a kangaroo mascot with them.

"We wave the flag and you can even call us flaggers. We believe in our visual presence rather than being vociferous. We having been doing it for the last 20 years, travelling to all countries around the world wherever Australia plays a series," Gillian told Gulf News.

"So far we have been to 181 Test matches. We are a like-minded group and, though some of us live in different parts of the world, when a tour begins we make sure to fly in and meet at the airport and then be together.

"We have waved the flag in every nation where Australia has played, including the UAE. There are supporters here who have flown in from Darwin, from Spain and even Colombia."

Gillian is a familiar face for all of Australia's players. "I have been around so long that now, when new players come in, I am sometimes even introduced to them," said Gillian, who former Australia Test captain Steve Waugh asked to write the prologue for his 1999 No Regrets tour diary, while he also got a mention in Waugh's autobiography Out Of My Comfort Zone.

But aACAyWaving the Flag' -- a name suggested by an Indian in Mumbai in 2000 -- will not be at next year's 50-over World Cup as they only attend tours that involve Test matches.

When asked which Test match his group has enjoyed the most, Gillian said: "Australia's defeat to India in the Kolkata Test match in 2001. India, following on, made 657 runs through superb knocks from V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid in the second innings and won the match. It was a great advertisement for cricket. From a thrilling perspective, it was the recent Australia tour to South Africa, which we won 2-1."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 24, 2014
Words:391
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