By Graham Hardcastle
Fin Bean is yet to make his first-team debut for Yorkshire, but his name is already widely recognised in English cricket. And that is all down to one stunning innings, his history-making 441 against Nottinghamshire seconds late last month.
Bean, 20, broke the record for the highest score ever in the Second XI Championship, beating Marcus Trescothick’s 332 for Somerset in 1997.
Opener Bean was not contracted to Yorkshire at the time of his remarkable innings at the Lady Bay Sports Club in Nottingham, though it is no surprise that changed pretty quickly – the county offering the talented left-hander rookie terms a couple of weeks ago.
The chances are that he will now make his first-team debut in the forthcoming Royal London Cup, which starts for Yorkshire on his home ground at York CC’s Clifton Park next week. The Vikings play Northamptonshire in the Minster city on Tuesday and then host Lancashire on Thursday.
“I’m just taking every day as it comes, going with the flow, but I’m hopeful of getting a couple of games in at some point during the next few weeks,” said Bean. “If it comes on my home ground, that would be awesome. I’d have a few of my mates down there, so that would be good.
“York love hosting Yorkshire, and a lot of effort goes in. At the start of the year, that’s the main aim. They do a great job. Lancashire, in particular, will be a massive fixture for the club.”
Prior to reflecting on his 441, which came in a high-scoring draw, it is worth noting Bean’s back-story.
Here is a player who did well in age-group cricket for Yorkshire – he scored 213 for the Under 17s back in 2018 – before turning down the offer of an Academy contract at the end of 2020 and leaving Headingley to become a mechanic.
“I’d left school, it was around the time of Covid, and there was quite a lot of uncertainty,” he said.
He has since impressed for York in Premier League cricket – with consistency rather than big scores the key for him this summer – and earned his second bite at county cricket following a call from second-team head coach Tom Smith.
“It was strange,” he said of his historic 441. “You usually have a day where everything can go your way, but I seemed to have a couple of them back-to-back in the same game. Everything went to plan.
“That Notts game was my first four-dayer for Yorkshire, and it was just a case of enjoying it and not putting too much pressure on myself.
“It was an amazing few days. Every time I got to one milestone, another seemed to come quite quickly and things seemed to go quite smoothly for me.”
Bean chuckles at the question of how he managed to hold up mentally and physically during a marathon innings which spanned eleven and a half hours.
“It wasn’t too bad, actually,” he added. “It was more a couple of days later that it hit me. I stayed in bed for a long time!”
That his 441 came off only 518 balls, with a strike-rate of 85.13, indicates Bean’s suitability to limited-overs cricket.
“I like to bat time and accumulate in the red ball stuff. In the shorter format, I go quite hard early doors,” he said. “I enjoy all of the formats but this year is my first proper summer of four-day cricket and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Bean’s quadruple-hundred will be a lovely memory, but now it is about backing up an innings which has kick-started the next phase of his career. And, if he can be part of a successful Yorkshire 50-over campaign, that will surely be even better.
“Two years out made me realise that cricket was all I wanted to do,” he added. “To sign for my home county is an incredible feeling, as is playing with my mates who I’ve grown up with and played the system coming through together.
“Lads like George Hill, Matt Revis and Will Luxton have also got a chance in the first team now. Hopefully we can all come together and put some wins on the board over the next few weeks.”