Dom Bess is in excellent form with ball and bat as the Yorkshire off-spinning all-rounder plays domestic cricket in Zimbabwe.
Bess has travelled to Africa to play for the Southern Rocks team, and he has so far featured in 50-over and first-class cricket, taking a five-wicket haul added to scores of 49, 46 and 63.
Bess started his spell in Zimbabwe late last month with a pair of Pro50 Championship fixtures, claiming 2-32 and hitting 49 in a victory over the MidWest Rhinos. They then lost a return clash with the same team in the semi-finals.
In the following Logan Cup four-day match against the Mountaineers, the Rocks lost out but Bess impressed in the first innings with 5-99 from 28.5 overs and a middle order 46.
There is also an ongoing fixture against the Tuskers, which heads into its second day today. On day one, the Rocks made 285 all out. Bess was elevated to bat at number three in the order and made 63 off 86 balls with 12 boundaries.
Lauren Winfield-Hill has made her first state appearances of the winter for Queensland, while Northern Diamonds team-mate Leah Dobson has been amongst the runs playing grade cricket in the same state.
Winfield-Hill has just finished an overseas stint in the Big Bash with Perth Scorchers, and has now moved on to play for the Queensland Fire as she continues her preparations for the new English regional summer next April.
She played in two Women’s National Cricket League 50-over fixtures against the Australian Capital Territory in Canberra on Tuesday and yesterday, both of which Queensland won. So convincingly did they win – the first by eight wickets chasing 248 and the second by nine wickets chasing 158 – Winfield-Hill wasn’t required with the bat.
In grade cricket, playing for the Gold Coast Dolphins women, Dobson has enjoyed a productive few weeks with bat in hand.
She is playing an all-round role for the Dolphins, taking the new ball as well. But it is her batting exploits which have caught the eye.
In her last three innings, dating back to late November – both in T20 and 50-over cricket – the 22-year-old has opened the batting and posted scores of 57, 39 and 30, contributing to a win alongside two defeats.
A trio of Yorkshire players – Dom Leech, Matthew Revis and James Wharton – are continuing their winters of grade cricket.
In their most recent completed two-day win over, the University of Queensland, Revis hit a middle order 53 for Gold Coast Dolphins and claimed two wickets.
In their ongoing clash away against Wynnum-Manly, which concludes tomorrow, Revis again took the new ball and struck once as the hosts were bowled out for 207. The Dolphins are 7-1 in reply.
Leech is yet to play a match in December but has taken six wickets in three two-day matches so far for South Australian side Woodville, added to a top-score of 47 with the bat.
Wharton is playing for Wanneroo in Perth and has a best score of 18 in a pair of December two-day fixtures.
New Northern Superchargers head coach Andrew Flintoff paid tribute to Yorkshire star Adil Rashid as he presented him with his 100th T20 international cap in Barbados earlier this week.
Leg-spinner Rashid made his milestone appearance in England’s series opener on Tuesday, which they lost.
The Bradfordian claimed two wickets, including his 100th career scalp. No other England bowler has taken 100 T20 international wickets, with Chris Jordan next best on 96. Nobody else has bettered Stuart Broad’s haul of 65 wickets in that format.
Rashid also added two more wickets during a fabulous spell of 2-11 from four overs in last night’s second game, but unfortunately England lost that one as well and have slipped 2-0 behind in the five-match series which continues in Grenada tomorrow.
Flintoff is out in the West Indies as part of England’s backroom staff, and he said to the 35-year-old Rashid: “This is a milestone which I’m thrilled to give.Rash was in the squad and the last player who I toured with.
“I remember you coming in as a young lad full of mystery, full of wonder and mischief and with loads and loads of ability.
“Over the years, this group, myself, anybody who has played with you, have been so proud of how you have gone about your business.
“A multiple World Cup winner, the best in the business at what you do around the world. But, more importantly, you as a person – you look around this group, you look at how much you mean to all these guys. You’re such an integral part of this squad.
“And the other thing, you give back, whether it’s in Bradford with your Academies. The other day, I saw you spending all this time with a leg-spinner, a young lad, coaching him.
“To me, that is just as important as everything else you do.
“You epitomise everything England Cricket is about.
“It’s a privilege to give you this cap. 100, but you’ve not stopped yet. There’s plenty more in you.”
Northern Diamonds assistant coach Kyle Coetzer was in the winning squad for the T20 Legends League event in India earlier this month.
Former Scotland men’s captain Coetzer, 39, played three matches for the Manipal Tigers, who beat Urbanrisers Hyderabad in the December 9 final at Surat.
Coetzer, who did not play in the final, posted scores of 9, 10 and 15 for a side captained by Harbhajan Singh.
English all-rounders Rikki Clarke and Peter Trego both played for Hyderabad in the final.
Next year’s Roses matches in the Vitality Blast may just have got a bit more friendly after Dale Benkenstein was appointed Lancashire’s new coach earlier this week, replacing Glen Chapple.
That’s because Benkenstein and Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson are very close friends have played and coached together previously.
Gibson’s first game as Yorkshire coach was against Benkenstein’s Gloucestershire at Bristol in April 2022, a fixture which Yorkshire won.
Before that game, Gibson spoke about their friendship.
“We spent a lot of time playing cricket together in Durham, even before that,” he said.
“Dale came to Barbados to play as an 18 or 19-year-old, and I went to South Africa and played against him a lot. When I went to South Africa as head coach, he was my batting coach.
“We’ve always been good friends.
“We share the same view of cricket in that you work hard in preparation and then you go out and enjoy performing. You are not going to perform extraordinarily every time, but you can be consistent.
“I enjoyed playing under him as a captain. His cricket brain is excellent. “I’m very close to his family, his kids.”