Sidmouth's pride as Dom makes England debut
PUBLISHED: 12:30 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:52 25 May 2018
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Sidmouth is celebrating as one of its sporting sons makes his England cricket debut in the Test Match against Pakistan.
Family, friends and club members from the town have travelled up to watch Dominic Bess in action at Lord’s, with others following the match here in East Devon.
Dominic, who comes from a proud Sidmouth sporting family and cut his teeth at the Fortfield ground, has enjoyed a meteoric rise to take his first England cap at the age of 20.
Cousin and Devon captain Josh Bess played alongside him at Sidmouth. “He’s obviously one of the local lads, so I think everyone’s very proud of him and very excited to see him get such an opportunity,” he said.
“He’s a very talented bowler and very able batsman. He’s hard-working and very committed and obviously it’s all come quite fast for him, which is brilliant. But I guess if you do well that’s what happens. Quite a lot of the club are going up to watch, so everyone is very excited about it. It’ll be a nice occasion whatever happens.”
The achievement is all the more remarkable given that Sidmouth Cricket Club, founded in 1823, has never before produced a Test cricketer.
Neil Gamble, chairman of Sidmouth Cricket, Tennis and Croquet Club, said: “Dominic Bess’s achievement is a cause of great rejoicing at Sidmouth Cricket Club, where he played from a small boy until his late teens. We can hardly believe that one of our best young talents has risen so far and so fast. Wherever club members meet up over the next few days, there will be special celebrations to mark his achievement.”
Dominic played in Sidmouth junior sides and in an adult game when he was only 11. He made his debut for Sidmouth’s first team in 2013 when he was 15. Both Dominic’s father Russell and his uncles have played cricket.
Luke Bess, another cousin, is Sidmouth team captain, playing alongside brothers Josh and Zac. He said a lot of credit was due to their late granddad and Sidmouth cricketer Gerald Bess. He used to play cricket in the back garden with the young Dominic. Their nan, Maureen, has travelled up with the family for the big occasion.
Luke said: “We’ve all got absolute belief in him and I’m sure he’s confident in his own abilities. He’s got to get out there and take the opportunity as best he can.”