By RICHARD WALSH
DOM Bess has had a remarkable start to his first class cricketing career and after bursting onto the scene in 2016 the young off spinning all-rounder from Sidmouth has risen through the ranks in mercurial fashion.
During 2017 the 20 year old who played up through the Devon age groups before graduating from the Somerset Academy played in nine championship matches in which he took 36 wickets at an average of 23.42, which included a career best of seven for 117 against Hampshire at Taunton in May.
Bess also showed that he is a genuine all rounder when he scored his maiden half-century in the championship and ended the season with 198 runs at an average of 19.80.
However the Devon boy has had to work hard for his success and after graduating from the Somerset Academy in 2015, he wasn’t offered a contract by the county. Instead he spent the winter attending the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide as well as playing Grade Cricket, which helped him to develop his game and also himself as a person.
When he returned ahead of the 2016 season he continued to play for Devon in the Minor Counties and Somerset Second XI where a number of impressive performances with both bat and ball earned him a first team debut against Pakistan.
In the last two championship matches of the 2016 season Bess claimed 13 wickets at 10.46 to top the Somerset averages.
Since making his first class debut 18 months ago Bess has played in 12 first class matches for Somerset and taken 49 wickets at a cost of 22.59 runs apiece.
Bess gained recognition for his summer exploits when he was selected for the England Lions training camp in Australia this autumn, where he enjoyed success, especially playing in two T20 matches against Perth Scorchers.
Reflecting on his time in Australia with the Lions back home the young all rounder said: “It was great for me being out in Australia at the same time as the England Test side, especially as I was with my spin twin Jack Leach .
“Being around them and bowling at them in that environment was a great experience for me. To be out there and catch up with Craig Overton and see him doing so well was a real motivation to me, and made realize even more that is where I want to go with my cricket.”
“I was also very pleased that the T20 stuff went well for me as well which was really nice. I enjoyed playing in the T20 games at Perth.”
Bess will continue his involvement with the England Lions in the New Year because he has been included in the squad to go to the West Indies to play in the while-ball games.
The youngster is very happy with his selection - especially as he has only made one white-ball appearance for Somerset and that was in the T20 against Hampshire back in 2016.
“It’s going to be a very interesting time for me out there in the West Indies especially when you consider that I haven’t played any white ball cricket at all for Somerset apart from that one T20 game back in 2016.
“When I was out in Australia with the Lions I played in all the T20 games and I loved it, I really did. For me I am always going to back myself so when I got that chance I thought it was massive and a chance to really push my case forward for Somerset and also show the England Lions coaches what I could do under pressure in the white ball game.
Bess will be heading for Sidmouth and a family Christmas before joining up with his Somerset team mates after the festive break
“I think I will be back at the club for about a month and then fly out to the West Indies with the England Lions to play white ball cricket, so there is plenty more for me to look forward to this winter!”
He added: “This is a massive opportunity for me to show what I can do in white-ball cricket.”