Bess looks ahead to England Lions trip to Australia starting later this month
By RICHARD WALSH
DOM Bess is counting the days until he sets off on the biggest cricketing adventure of his young career when he heads out to Australia with the England Lions.
The 20 year old announced himself on the cricketing stage in some style at the end of 2016 when in the space of three Championship games for Somerset he took 13 wickets, which included a best of six for 28.
Bess produced further impressive performances in the nine games he played last season and picked up another 36 wickets with his off-spin, as well as scoring his maiden, First Class half-century,
He was a key part of the side that saw Somerset’s late season revival hat enabled them to retain their top division status.
Next week the youngster who hails from Sidmouth and grew up playing through the Devon age groups before joining the Somerset Academy when he was 16, will be spending time at ECB Loughborough Academy with the rest of the England Lions squad, before flying out to Australia later this month.
“Along with Jack Leach from Somerset I will be going up to Loughborough for a week where I will be able to catch up with the rest of the Lions squad.
“We fly out on November 14 so it’s all coming round pretty soon now.
Over the last few days I have been trying to get myself back to full fitness again - opening up the bowling arm and having a hit - so it is all going to be very exciting.”
“First up we go to Brisbane for two weeks, which is where we land on November 15th which I think is the same sort of time as the Test Match. Two weeks later we go onto Perth.
“In Brisbane the focus is on red-ball cricket and then in Perth we are focusing more on the white ball.
“We have got a four-day game against Queensland and then we have got three T20 games against Perth Scorchers.”
“It’s all happened so quickly for me and when you think that last winter I was looking to go out to Australia to play for a club side to have another good five months, enjoy it, learn as much as I can and then come back for a full season with Somerset.
“Now 12 months on I am going back out to Australia but in different circumstances – with the England Lions!
“It’s a great feeling to be going out there with the Lions and of course its great that I will have Leachy with me for company, and there will a couple of others in my year who I have played against so it will all be very exciting.
Bess’ Somerset team-mate and fellow Devonian Craig Overton is already out in Australia with the full England side, preparing for the upcoming Ashes series.
“It’s great to have Craig out there in the full England set up, pushing for a place in the first Test Match side,” said Bess.
“It’s so good to see someone who has worked as hard as he has get his call up which is real reward and shows that if you work hard, do as much as you can and things go right for you then you can get right to the top.
“It can be a quick process if you are lucky and the time is right. If you work hard at your game then you never know how far you can go.Bess talked about the number of Devon young cricketers who have made it into the Somerset county side.
“In recent years Devon has proved to be a really good training ground for First Class cricketers, which is testament to the youth system that is in place.
“We have got Craig and Jamie Overton, Lewis Gregory and myself who have come through the Devon ranks playing for Somerset and there are a lot coming though like Ben Green who is only 20, Tom Lammonby in the under-19s and there are lots more talented young players.
“This is all very good for Devon cricket and in turn for Somerset as well.”
“I just can’t wait to get out to Australia with the Lions - bring it on and let’s see what they have got.”