Bess Heath aims to make her mark in Trophy
Bess Heath is the name on the tips of all the tongues in the know.
The 19-year-old Northern Diamonds wicket-keeper has been heralded as a potential successor to England’s Amy Jones.
But ask the Chesterfield native about the international moments that inspired her game and she draws a bit of a blank – as it turns out, the one-to-watch didn’t do much watching herself.
“As I was growing up, we didn’t have a TV, we didn’t really watch any cricket,” she explained.
“I fell in love with playing the game instead of watching it. It was more playing with my brothers, and playing with the family and that kind of thing made me fall in love with the game.
“But there was a period where we were watching the World Cup final a couple of years ago. I was around with my friends, and we just finished the cricket game.
“And then obviously the women won. And it was a great, great moment in that instance, but other than that I fell in love with it through playing.”
Heath’s prowess with the bat makes her a dangerous addition to any line-up. A pre-season Diamonds friendly against England Academy last week saw her hit a quick 30 off 20 balls, including four fours and the only six of the match, and she’ll also be lending her talents to Northern Superchargers in the Hundred this summer.
Northern Diamonds are one of eight teams vying for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in the second edition of the 50-over domestic tournament.
Heath and her teammates, representing Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland, narrowly missed out on the prize last year after losing to Southern Vipers by 38 runs in the final.
The Diamonds, who will begin this year’s campaign at Headingley against Central Sparks on May 29, are one of the most fearsome sides in the competition.
Youngsters like Heath and 21-year-old Dutchwoman Sterre Kalis feature alongside storied veterans including three-time World Cup winners Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn – Gunn having started playing cricket four years before Heath was born.