Dan Walker plays golf with England Cricket Star Ollie Pope and gets the inside scoop ahead of The Ashes

Dan Walker asks England Cricket Star Ollie Pope about how he feels about The Ashes over a game of golf.
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Dan Walker has launched his new series of ‘Dan Walker Meets’ with an interview and a round of golf with England Cricket Star, Ollie Pope. The Channel 5 presenter, 46, from Sheffield, met up with Ollie at Walton Heath Golf Club, where the AIG Women’s Open will take place later this month.

He took to Instagram to announce the new series posting: “It was all in the delivery… as good on the course as he is at the wicket 🏏⛳️😎. Delighted to announce the new series of ‘Dan Walker Meets…’ we filmed it at @waltonheathgc where they play the @aigwomensopen later this year”.

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A new YouTube video shows Dan giving Ollie’s golf clubs a quick inspection, before the pair headed out to the course to tee off, chat about their love of golf and discuss the upcoming Ashes. Dan said: “I don’t know about you but when I play golf it is the only time I switch off.  That is why I enjoy it so much”. Ollie replied: “Yep, you put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ and you live in your own little bubble, whoever you are playing with”.

Dan went on to ask the sporting star: “We are just a few weeks away from The Ashes. How does your head feel about that,  knowing what happened last time around in Australia?”

Ollie answered: “Good. A lot better than it did going into that series. That was obviously a tough trip. It was also a trip where we got put into a hotel room for basically 10 days before we were allowed out. It was not amazing for your mental health. Playing for England should be the best time of your life as a player but at the time it probably wasn’t”.

The 2021–22 Ashes series took place against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which threatened to derail the series numerous times. Ollie confessed: “There was too much pressure and too much stress”.

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Dan enquired about the captain of the England team, saying: “Watching from the outside Ben Stokes not only looks like an incredible leader but also someone who is quite approachable and is open about flaws. Is that how he comes across to you in the dressing room and as a friend?”

Ollie was keen to praise his captain saying: “Yeah absolutely. He is a superstar now so if you travel the world with him, it doesn’t matter what country you are in, he’s getting recognised everywhere he goes. The best thing about him is that he’d do anything for his team. I think there was a time after The Ashes that he thought I was better than I thought I was. He backed me for a long time”.

Ollie has met many sporting stars throughout his career and Dan was keen to find out what he has learnt from them. Ollie said he was inspired after listening to Dan Carter’s podcast. He added: “Dan Carter (New Zealand rugby union player) did this thing where he would hit his leg, a physical thing that almost got his mind back in the game. I actually hit my leg in between every ball so whatever has happened on the ball before that is my way of going right, next”.