THERE won’t be three Bess brothers in the Devon side after all for the pre-season warm-up game against Gloucestershire 2nd XI at Heathcoat on Sunday (11am).
Skipper Josh Bess and brother Zak are automatic picks in all forms of cricket for Devon.
Youngest brother Luke is on the county’s radar having led club side Sidmouth to the Premier title last season. He scored nearly 500 runs in the process.
It would have been an historic day for Devon – three brothers have never played in the same side before – and a proud one for parents Graham and Viv.
There’s just one snag. Zak has dropped out with a side strain so that little bit of history will have to wait.
Devon have decided against replacing Zak in the 13-man squad, figuring they have enough players to get through the game anyway.
The side facing Gloucestershire shows a sprinkling of changes to the one that drew with Hampshire last Friday and Saturday, not just the inclusion of Luke Bess.
Liam Lewis and Matt Golding join Luke Bess in the squad. Missing are Joe Thompson, Rob Woodman, Dan Wolf, Tom Lammonby and Joe Hagan-Burt, all of whom were in an expanded squad for the training camp at Southampton.
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said there was nothing significant to read into the changes, other than proper appraisal of who is available.
“The pool of players we draw on has become deeper over the past few years as, out of necessity, younger players have been brought in and shown promise or a bit more,” said Donohue.
“There are no chances once the season starts to see how someone shapes up, or what sort of form they are in.
“We get two or three games at the start of the season to see who is about and how they are looking – and we need to take them.”
Pre-season preparations started last week with two one-day games against Hampshire 2nd XI at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Both ended in draws.
For team boss Keith Donohue the results were not important, but time in the middle was.
“Our bowlers got overs in on grass and the size of the Hampshire totals didn’t worry me,” said Donohue
“Our bowlers bowled and the batters batted and got runs. It was a worthwhile start to our outdoor preparations.”
The serious stuff starts on April 23 when Devon play Dorset at Instow in their opening Unicorns KO Trophy fixture.
Squad: L J Lewis (Sidmouth), F R Trenouth (Millfield School), A W Barrow (Exeter), J J Bess (Sidmouth), M C Golding (Bovey Tracey), L F O Bess (Sidmouth) J F S Dart (Heathcoat), J V King (North Devon), J A Stephens (Falmouth), D J Goodey (Plymouth), H M Whitlock (Bovey Tracey).