|Dates: 16-19 June Venue: County Ground, Bristol Time: 11:00 BST|
|Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Sounds, and text commentary with in-play clips on the BBC Sport website and app. Highlights programme on Red Button and BBC iPlayer each evening|
In one of the biggest pieces of cricket transfer news of the summer, the popular ‘No Balls’ podcast has arrived on BBC Sounds.
The show is hosted by professional cricketers Alex Hartley and Kate Cross, and in this series’ first episode they grill England bowler Chris Woakes.
No Balls first launched as an independent podcast in 2019 and offers a unique perspective from two professional players.
“We started off because people said we should do a podcast; it was just a bit of a laugh and then it took off,” Hartley said.
Hartley won the World Cup with England in 2017 but then lost her international contract, whereas Cross did not feature in the World Cup but is now an England regular.
“We’re just two best mates who can offer a real insight into the lives of professionals who are still playing the sport,” Hartley said.
“We also pride ourselves on being really relatable and one of the key things we talk about is mental health, we chat about it openly and freely and want the public to do so too.”
The best friends are not only team-mates for Lancashire, North West Thunder and Manchester Originals in the upcoming women’s Hundred competition, but now also live together.
Combining light-heartedness with more serious questioning, this week they quiz Ashes and World Cup winner Woakes.
Ever wondered who has the worst haircut in cricket?
“Colin De Grandhomme,” Woakes says without hesitation.
Or how long will Woakes dine out on that 2017 World Cup win?
“For the rest of my life, I’m not going to lie,” he replies.
Woakes (or ‘the nicest guy in cricket,’ as Hartley and Cross describe him) also reflects on his career, opens up on the struggles of playing in bio-secure bubbles, something which Cross can relate to, and shares stories about his England team-mates.
“We find that guests, like Chris, are much more open with us because, being cricketers, we understand the ups and downs and how tough it can be, especially if you’re in and out of squads,” Hartley said.
“It’s easier for our guests to chat to fellow cricketers than journalists.”