London: A familiar sound associated with the England cricket team is set to be missing during next week`s Ashes opener in Nottingham after `Billy the Trumpet` was effectively banned from playing at Trent Bridge.
England star batsman Kevin Pietersen took to Twitter on Saturday to say the move was a "DISGRACE".
Billy Cooper, a professional musician, has become a fixture with the `Barmy Army` group of supporters who follow England home and away, with his well-judged interludes -- a few bars of the `Great Escape` when the team is fighting a rearguard action for example - becoming popular with spectators.
But Cooper took to Twitter on Friday to say he wouldn`t be performing, as things stood, when the first Test started at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
"Just to clarify that @TrentBridge have said I can`t play at the 1st test. Disappointed. Gutted," Cooper wrote as @billbarmytrump.
England spinner Graeme Swann, followed by wicketkeeper Matt Prior both backed Cooper`s cause with a retweet saying: "We just want to get behind @Swannyg66 @MattPrior13 @JimmyAnderson9 & the boys #LetBillyBlowhisTrumpet" we want him."
Pietersen weighed in by criticising a "stupid decision".
He added: "Absolute DISGRACE that Trent Bridge have stopped our very vocal `12th man` @billbarmytrump from playing at 1st Ashes Test!"
However, a Nottinghamshire spokesman said Saturday there were no plans to change the county`s policy, which was in force in 2005 when England just held their nerve to beat England in a dramatic Ashes Test.
"It is not personal against him or his trumpet," he said. "It is just a long-standing policy position. There is no chance of a change of mind."