Bess Heath has long been a star of the Northern Diamonds team, but the dynamic wicketkeeper-batter is heading in the right direction for similar status with England.

A full international debut in September 2023, the 22-year-old has since been handed a full-time development contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Next summer, Headingley hosts England’s women for a T20 international against Pakistan, on Sunday May 19. And wouldn’t it be fantastic to see Chesterfield-born Heath involved in that fixture, hopefully carrying England to victory.

Here we take a look at Heath’s career so far…..

Bess Heath came through Derbyshire’s age-group system and first played senior county cricket for them in 2014 – just a few weeks before her 13th birthday.

She comes from a family of tree surgeons, and still works in the family business when her cricket commitments allow. Heath also has a passion for renovating old cars and vans.

The hard-hitting right-hander scored a pair of county centuries for Derbyshire in 2016 and 2018, also first representing the Yorkshire Diamonds in the old Kia Super League T20 competition for the first time in the latter season.

Heath was part of the first Northern Diamonds team during the Covid summer of 2020, playing in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy win over Central Sparks at Edgbaston August 29. She helped the team reach the final that year.

Her other sporting love is rugby, and she was once offered a trial by the Worcester Warriors women before opting to put all her focus into a career in cricket.

Heath scored her first half-century for the Diamonds in a 2021 Charlotte Edwards Cup T20 win over Thunder at Chester Boughton Hall, 58 not out opening the batting.

Bess Heath playing a sweep shot for the Northern Diamonds in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

At the end of that summer, Heath was handed her first professional contract by the Diamonds.

Her nickname is BAM, owing much to her Bess Alice May name but also her aggressive style of batting.

In 2022, Heath hit an impressive 893 runs in all cricket, including a best of 84 not out in a T20 clash for England A against the senior New Zealand team at Somerset’s Millfield School. But it was team success which meant the most, helping the Diamonds win the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy title with a glorious victory over Southern Vipers in the late September Lord’s final.

Heath has played regional cricket for the Diamonds as a wicketkeeper-batter and a specialist batter.

It was in the latter role which she made her senior England debut in September 2023, hitting a quick-fire 21 late on during an ODI victory over Sri Lanka at Leicester’s Grace Road. She would later make her T20 debut against India at Mumbai’s iconic Wankhede Stadium in December, scoring one in a five-wicket defeat.

On that Indian tour, she was also part of the squad for the one-off Test Match at the same venue.

During 2023, Heath played domestic short-form cricket for the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred, helping them reach the final – they were beaten by Southern Brace at Lord’s. She went on to help Brisbane Heat reach the final of the Australian Big Bash League in December, them losing out to Adelaide Strikers in the final.

December was a busy month for Heath, starting with the award of her England central contract.

There is much, much more to come from this superstar of the Northern Diamonds. And there is every chance that it will involve a Headingley masterclass against Pakistan.

England Women at Headingley – A celebration of Women’s Sport

Women’s sport has grown exponentially in recent years with more professional players, growing crowds and great entertainment on show. To celebrate the significant progression, we will be highlighting some of Yorkshire Cricket’s real success stories in the coming months, starting with this article on the rise of Bess Heath.

Heath will be in the mix to play at Headingley on Sunday 19 May, when England take on Pakistan in the ground’s first ever Women’s IT20. Get the date in your diary and lock in your tickets now. You can even join Yorkshire Cricket’s Women in Sport Network via the below form and access great content and exclusive group discounts for the game!

BUY WOMEN’S IT20 TICKETS

JOIN THE WOMEN IN SPORT NETWORK

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