Approximately 12 months ago, Dom Bess was preparing to make his Test Match debut for England against Pakistan. He played both matches in the drawn series which culminated at Emerald Headingley in early June. Now, Yorkshire are trying to help him regain his spot in that environment.
Somerset’s offie is one of the brightest spinning talents in England at the age of 21.
But his first-team opportunities have been limited by the presence of another England spinner, left-armer Jack Leach, at Taunton.
Bess was picked for England, ironically, following an injury to Leach and a lack of form after the Ashes from Moeen Ali, and he certainly held his own in that series, taking three wickets – all of them at Headingley – and posting scores of 57 and 49 with the bat.
That is certainly an added bonus for the White Rose – he is very useful with the blade down the order.
Unfortunately for the Devonian, with the return to form of Moeen and the inclusion of Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid, he found himself out of the reckoning for the late summer series against India.
A month after that second Test against Pakistan, Bess was playing for Somerset seconds at Taunton Vale and did so for a good portion of the rest of the summer.
His situation echoes that of another of Somerset’s own, Jos Buttler, who was an England limited overs regular but couldn’t get in the Somerset team as they preferred Craig Kieswetter.
Buttler ended up moving to Lancashire ahead of 2014 as he chased the dream of Test Match cricket.
Bess would, without doubt, be the number one spinner at the vast majority of counties.
A player who actually made his under 13s county debut for Devon against Somerset in 2010, he made his second-team debut for Somerset in 2013, aged 15.
He made his first-class debut for Somerset against the touring Pakistanis in July 2016, going wicketless.
But he claimed 6-28 in his first appearance in the County Championship, against Warwickshire, a couple of months later at Taunton and prospered on their spin-friendly surfaces. In his next appearance he took five-for against Nottinghamshire.
In fact, he took 35 wickets in his first six Championship appearances, straddling the end of 2016 and the start of 2017 and has taken 60 wickets in 18 matches to date.
Bess’ batting prowess was best highlighted by a fine 107 for the MCC in the champion county fixture against Essex in Barbados on the eve of last season.
He played alongside Matthew Fisher in that fixture.
In one of Fisher’s columns last year, he gave an insight into the character of Yorkshire’s new loanee both on and off the field.
“He’s bubbly and full of energy,” said Fisher. “He smiles and laughs a lot.
“As a cricketer, he’s another one of these generation who don’t have any fear. He is an aggressive off-spinner, very attacking.”
Bess has also been playing for the England Lions for the last 15 months.
NameDominic Mark Bess
BornJuly 22, 1997, Exeter, Devon
RoleRight-handed batsman, right-arm off-spin
First ClassSomerset v Pakistanis at Taunton, Jul 3-5, 2016