Dom’s spectacular catch ‘was comic book hero stuff’
- Credit: PA
It was very much a family affair as Sidmouth’s own Dom Bess made his debut for England. His parents and his 85-year-old grandmother were in the crowd to cheer him on.
His father Russell, who played cricket for Sidmouth and rugby for Exeter, said: “It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind. We are chuffed to bits with him. It’s fantastic.”
They joined him on the pitch when he was presented with his first cap and followed him to both the Lord’s test match and the second at Headlingley in Yorkshire.
“It was strange being fairly anonymous in the crowd listening to total strangers talking about Dom. You sat there with a big smile on your face,” said Russell.
Dom scored his first test half-century at Lord’s and nearly got a second at Headingley, where he took his first international wickets and pulled off a spectacular flying catch.
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“He seemed to be taking it all in his stride. He was a lot less nervous than I was,” said Russell.
“I’ve never been nervous in my life, but that’s something else. It’s something we would all dream of doing, playing for England, and because it’s out of your control you can’t do anything.”
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It was an especially proud moment for grandmother Maureen, who used to take the young Dom to watch his cousins play cricket and then followed his career from junior sides at Sidmouth through county cricket at Devon and Somerset to his England debut.
Her late husband Gerald, also a Sidmouth cricketer, gave him his first lessons in the garden as soon as he was old enough to hold a bat.
Luke Bess, Sidmouth Cricket Club captain and Dom’s cousin, said: “We’re obviously very happy for him. The club are very proud of him and it’s very good for Devon cricket, too.”
Neil Gamble, chairman of Sidmouth Cricket, Tennis and Croquet Club, said Dom’s performance put all in cricket in Devon, Exeter and Sidmouth ‘in raptures’.
“We were delighted about Dom’s 50 at Lord’s and the second test gave him a chance to achieve his first bowling success for the national side.
“Dom has also made real strides to become an excellent fielder.
“His left-handed catch diving full length to dismiss Pakistan’s Haris Sohail brought the Yorkshire crowd, not used to giving accolades lightly, to its feet.
“It was comic book hero stuff.”