From Fortfield to Lords – Dom Bess in England Test squad for Lords match

PUBLISHED: 10:15 16 May 2018

Sidmouth's Dom Bess in action for Somerset.

Sidmouth's Dom Bess in action for Somerset.

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From Fortfield to Lords! That’s the path about to be trodden by 20-year-old cricketer Dom Bess after he was called up to the England Test squad for the forthcoming meeting with Pakistan at Lords.

At the Darren Lehmann Academy in Australia (left to right), Sarah Taylor (England wicket-keeper) Graham Clark (Durham CCC) Alex Frick, Dom Bess and Joe Gatting (Sussex CCC) At the Darren Lehmann Academy in Australia (left to right), Sarah Taylor (England wicket-keeper) Graham Clark (Durham CCC) Alex Frick, Dom Bess and Joe Gatting (Sussex CCC)

Bess was in the new IKEA store in Exeter when he took a call on his mobile from England selector Ed Smith.

He says: ““I was in IKEA with my girlfriend. I’ve just bought a house so we were looking at furniture having a browse, then Ed phoned me up!

““I didn’t have his number so I didn’t know who it was. He told me that I’d been included and all I said was ‘wow’! I didn’t have any other words, I couldn’t believe it.”

Bess, who spent his early cricketing years in the Sidmouth colts section, has played for England at Under-19 level at was in the England Lions team that toured South Africa in 2017 and he was then part of the Lions squad that travelled to both Australia and West Indies.

Dom Bess bowling for Sidmouth 2nd's against Bovey Tracey. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 9621-32-12TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24 Dom Bess bowling for Sidmouth 2nd's against Bovey Tracey. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 9621-32-12TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

He claimed his first England Lions ‘fivefer’ on debut in Antigua when his return was 5-88.

It was towards the end of the 2016 County Championship that a teenage Bess got his big break when he was included in the Somerset side for a match against Warwickshire. He was an instant success taking 6-26 from 16 overs – his first wickets being those of one-time Test stars Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell. At the end of that first match he had the impressive overall match figures of 8-59 from 27 overs. He was again included in the final game of that season against Nottinghamshire when he bagged a second ‘fivefer’, with figures of 5-43 from 22 overs – and he had a sequence of five successive maidens during the spell!

Unsurprisingly at the end of that season he signed his first first professional contract with the Cidermen. Last year he took 36 Division One County Championship wickets at an average of only 23.42.

He has started this season well with ball and bat and scored a splendid 92 in the most recent Somerset County Championship match – the draw with Hampshire.

Bess says: “I’m only 20 but have dreamed of playing for England since I was a child. I used to wear the Three Lions as a youngster and dream of being out in the middle at Lords when I played cricket with my cousins and granddad.”

The three cousins that Josh talks of are Sidmouth CC players, skipper Josh, Zac and Luke.

His father Russell and uncle Graham also played cricket at the Fortfield and Dom’s late granddad Gerald was a stalwart of the club until his passing in 2007. The first England shirt that Dom wore is on display in the Fortfield pavilion.

After announcing the inclusion of Dom Bess, National Selector Ed Smith, said: “Dom Bess has made an excellent start to his first-class career.

“He has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and when he has been given opportunities with England representative teams.

“With Jack Leach missing out due to injury, the selection panel wanted to invest opportunity in a young spin bowler. Dom’s strong form, character and all-round abilities presented a compelling case for selection.”

Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “Everyone connected to the Club is thrilled for Dom. He has achieved a tremendous amount in a short space of time and we have all been extremely impressed by how he has conducted himself both on and off the field.”

“As a club we’re are delighted that our young players are beginning to get recognition at the very highest level. To have Dom joining the likes of Craig Overton and Jack Leach in England Test squads just goes to show that the pathways in the South West are helping to produce cricketers for the very highest level of the game.”

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