TMS ready for magical Ashes
Whether it was listening to Botham's exploits at the back of the classroom during the summer of 1981, celebrating Gower's glorious run-scoring feats while at scout camp in 1985, hiding my radio under the bedclothes as Gladstone Small took the winning catch in 1987, prematurely singing "Ashes Coming Home" on the outfield at Edgbaston in 1997 or chewing my finger nails at The Oval in 2005, most of my best cricket memories have come during series involving cricket's greatest rivals, England and Australia.
There are some fantastic cricket contests played around the world but for some reason the Ashes always seems to be the most magical and the 2009 vintage promises to be something special again partly because the outcome is so difficult to predict.
We may be without some of the game's legends after the retirement of the likes of Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist and most recently Michael Vaughan - but there is plenty of fascination to see how the new breed perform.
How will the new Aussie wonder kid Philip Hughes do? Can Ravi Bopara repeat his recent great form against the old enemy? Will it be Swann and Panesar trying to spin England to victory?
Then of course, the unpredictable nature of this series is given an extra twist with the opening match played at a brand new Test venue in Cardiff.
Whatever happens over the next seven weeks BBC Radio will bring you all the drama with ball by ball commentary on Test Match Special, extensive coverage on Five Live and plenty more here at bbc.co.uk/cricket - but before that you will be able to hear news of England's squad for the first npower Test at 1000am on Sunday morning on Five Live during a specially extended Sportsweek programme.
Our commentary team for Cardiff will be led by our cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, who will be joined by TMS stalwarts Christopher Martin-Jenkins and Henry Blofeld and ABC radio's Jim Maxwell, who is with us from now until the end of the summer.
Our expert summarisers include the irrepressible Geoff Boycott, who played in 10 Ashes series, and TMS favourite Vic Marks - with the Australian viewpoint coming from former captain Ian Chappell and ex-fast bowler Jason Gillespie, who played for Glamorgan last season and was part of the team beaten by England in 2005.
Test Match Special will be on air on Five Live Sports Extra and Radio Four Long Wave at the earlier time of 10.25 on Wednesday so that we can bring you the all important toss live as well as the special opening ceremony in Cardiff.
Five Live's extensive Ashes coverage gets underway on Saturday 4th July from 11.00am with a new programme "Yes it's the Ashes" presented by stand-up comedian and cricket fanatic Andy Zaltzman. After that, get your calls in for England's most capped player Alec Stewart as he hosts an Ashes 606 from 7.00pm.
On Tuesday, Mark Pougatch will present an Ashes preview from 7.00pm on Tuesday live from Cardiff with guests including 2005 Ashes winner Geraint Jones and former Australia and Glamorgan fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz, who you will probably remember was the man dismissed at Edgbaston when England completed a dramatic two-run victory.
On Wednesday, Victoria Derbyshire will present her programme live from the ground from 10.00am and Five Live Sport will also be live from Cardiff on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the match - and Mark Pougatch will bring you an Ashes review at the end of each day's play with Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott.
David Garrido will report live from the ground for Radio One during the Test, while Radio Wales and Radio Cymru will have extensive coverage with Oliver Hides, Steffan Garero and Rhodri Llywelyn all presenting programmes from Cardiff.
Throughout the Test we will be keeping you up to date with events at New Road as England's women defend their Ashes crown. Victory would complete an amazing hat-trick for Charlotte Edwards and her team after winning the World Cup and ICC World Twenty20. Five Live Sports Extra will then have ball by ball commentary on the climax of the match on Monday 13th July.
If you can't wait until next week for your fix of live cricket commentary tune into Five Live Sports Extra and Radio Four Long Wave on Sunday morning from 1030 for commentary on the semi-finals of the Friends Provident Trophy with Sussex against Gloucestershire and Lancashire versus Hampshire - Chris Adams, Jack Russell, Stuart Law and Shaun Udal are among our expert summarisers.
So after all the excitement of Wimbledon, prepare for a cricketing feast on BBC Radio - who knows how many new magical moments will be created.