Somerset’s young all rounder Dom Bess, who graduated through the Academy at the Cooper Associates County Ground last summer, is currently out in Adelaide where he is spending the winter at the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) and playing cricket for Northern Districts.
Bess, who hails from Sidmouth, attended Blundells School and came through the Devon age groups and last season played his club cricket for Exeter CC.
Reflecting on his time out in Australia so far the 18 year old said: “ The past five months have been an unforgettable experience both on and off the pitch. There has been ups and downs during that time and obviously the hardest is being away from home. Having to live and do everything for yourself is a eye opener and no doubt my parents will be pleased with me learning to cook and clean! But on a serious note, the experience has definitely molded me as a person and into a better, more confident player. I feel I have a greater understanding of the game now especially with the knowledge from the academy and also the club during training and game days.”
The former Academy youngster is getting to play alongside some pretty well known cricketers as he explained. “At my club Northern Districts we have quality players,” he said. “sitting in a changing room where you have the experience of Mark Cosgrove, Joe Gatting (ex Sussex and Hampshire), Graham Clark (Durham) and Sarah Taylor (England Women) when she played a couple of games, is a real eye opener! The cricket is very challenging especially being a young spinner out here with the quality of players playing. The pitches don’t usually favour the spin bowlers either!
“However it’s made me look at bowling spin differently, trying to beat the batsman in the flight and pace when it doesn’t turn. I have regularly had discussions with Jack Leach over Skype and messages to discuss how he was bowling out here and what went well with him when he was playing in Perth. I picked a lot up from him and it’s is awesome to have him as a resource!
Dom also talked about how his game has been going. “My recent performances have been pretty pleasing,” he said. “It’s giving me a lot of confidence coming into the 2016 season. I’m currently on 33 wickets this season at a average of 16 including all forms of two-day, one-day and T20 cricket! I’m also averaging 30 with the bat so it’s nice to be contributing with both bat and ball. I’ve been working very hard on my fielding to make sure that’s up to scratch too.
Talking about his typical day Dom said: “My daily routine is very busy. We train from Monday to Friday and play on Saturday for my club and the occasional Sunday. We gym on Monday,Wednesday and Friday and have a tough conditioning session on Tuesday and Thursday. I also try and fit in my weight program from Daz (Darren Veness, Somerset CCC Head of Strength and Conditioning) to make sure he’s happy as well for when I’m home.
“We also have the occasional games for the DLCA which has been great fun and to a quality standard as well. We recently beat Redbacks Second XI in which I was lucky enough to be captain. We also have a three-day game against them later on next week. As well as that, we travelled to Sydney to compete against the Thunder and Sixes Academy in which we had Shaun Tait playing for us, which was another special moment for me out here.”
Looking forward to the coming season Dom said: “2016 is going to be a huge year for me personally and I believe I have started the year cricket-wise on a huge positive. I aim to bring the form I’m in back into the Second XI and new Under 19′s side and hopefully take all the opportunities with both hands when they come along!
Finally Dom said: “I’m having a really great time out here and I feel my cricket is really developing so I have to thank Matt and Peter Such (ECB) for the opportunity that they gave me with this trip to the Darren Lehmann Academy.”
Pictured left to right- Sarah Taylor (England wicket-keeper) Graham Clark (Durham CCC) Alex Frick, Dom Bess and Joe Gatting (Sussex CCC)