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Dom delighted by Lions call up

Dom Bess admitted that he was surprised when he heard that he had been selected to play for the England Lions against South Africa A at Canterbury next week after appearing in just six Specsavers County Championship.

In those handful of matches the 19 year old, who hails from Sidmouth, has taken 30 wickets including at least five in an innings on four occasions. 

The young right arm off spinner, who is also a more than useful batsman, grew up in Sidmouth where he started to play cricket with his grandfather in the garden. 

At the age of 13 Dom went onto Blundell’s School in Tiverton where former Somerset favourite Rob Turner, who was in charge of cricket at the time, had a considerable influence on him. Dom played through the Devon age groups and played Minor County cricket for his home county and then joined the Somerset Academy at Taunton at the age of 17. 

After ending his time on the Academy the youngster went out to spend the winter at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide and on his return enjoyed considerable success for the Somerset Second XI, before making his Championship debut late on in the season. 

“When the news was announced there was no hiding my excitement,’ Dom said. “This has all happened to me so quickly. It’s crazy really because I’m still trying to fight for my place in the Somerset side and become a first team regular in the Championship side. Then as time goes on and I get some more experience then hopefully I will get a crack in the white ball stuff. To be honest I haven’t thought about England at all. I’m trying to fight as much as I can for the team.

On Sunday we were having the debrief and I had a call which I didn’t answer. Afterwards I rang back and it was James Whittaker (England Selector) who told me I was going to play at Canterbury for the Lions. It was a strange feeling. I didn’t really think about it because all I wanted to do was bat well in our fourth innings. I didn’t really pay much attention, but now it’s sunk in a bit I am really looking forward to it and it’s going to be an amazing experience. 

“I came into the Under 19s last summer and had three games so it will be interesting to go and see what the environment is like and how they go about things. It will be good to meet some new people and hopefully play some good cricket.” 

Dom will be joined by two of his team mates about which he said: “It’s great that Jack Leach and Jamie Overton are both in the side as well. Both of those two have been involved with the Lions before so to have those lads around in the environment will help me and with Craig Overton being called up for the England T20 squad as well there’s a buzz about the place.”

“It’s 100% that there are good times ahead for Somerset and there are still a lot of players to come through so there is really good competition for places at the moment. There’s people like Ben Green, George Bartlett and Eddie Byrom who is really smacking it about. 

“We are a young side if you think about it because we’ve got Jamie and Craig, Leachy, Lewis, ‘Abes’ and myself who are all young, so these are exciting times.”

Dom went on: “A lot of credit has to go to the coaches- Jason Kerr, Steve Snell and Andy Hurry before that. The attitude when I first came in when Jason was in charge of the Academy was that we wanted to be the best and that really rubbed off on me and all of the players. I was at Blundell’s School before then and Rob Turner had a lot to do with me. I played a lot of cricket and rugby there. In fact my best mate jack Maunder has just made his debut for the England rugby side.”

Dom added: “These are good times for us all at the moment and I am really enjoying it.”

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