• England 3 min read

    Bess reveals emotional England call during IKEA shopping trip

    The Somerset spinner was named in the Three Lions' 12-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan

    Dom Bess has revealed that he received his first England call-up while on a shopping trip in IKEA.

    The Somerset spinner was named on Tuesday in England’s 12-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan starting at Lord’s next Thursday.

    Bess, 20, took the call from new national selector Ed Smith as a lifelong dream of playing for the Three Lions moved closer to reality.

    “I was in IKEA with my girlfriend. I’ve just bought a house so we were looking at furniture having a browse, then Ed phoned me up!” Smith said.

    “I didn’t have his number so I didn’t know who it was. He told me that I’d been included and all I said was ‘wow’! I didn’t have any other words, I couldn’t believe it.

    “Alex Davies from Lancashire played a prank on me earlier in the day and pretended he was in the squad, so I thought I must have missed out as I hadn’t heard anything.

    “I’m only 20 but it’s something I’ve always dreamed about since I was a child. I’d wear the Three Lions supporting them as a kid and pretend to play for England when I played with my cousins and grandad.”

    Bess was included in the squad after Somerset team-mate Jack Leach sustained a broken thumb on Monday.

    The Devon-born off-spinner caught the eye during the England Lions’ winter tours of Australia and West Indies, taking 5-88 in his first Lions appearance in Antigua before starring with bat and ball in the MCC's win over Essex in the County Champion match in Barbados.

    And he wasted no time in making an emotional phone call to his father after speaking to Smith, who says Bess has “grabbed every opportunity given to him”.

    Bess added: “The first person I called after I got the news was my dad. I phoned him straight away. I think it was a very proud moment for him, he’s always backed me no matter what. I think he couldn’t sleep last night because the squad was getting announced and he knew there might be an opportunity for me. It makes me feel emotional.

    “My grandfather passed away when I was 10 and he was always one of my biggest fans, so it makes me quite emotional when I think about him too. He’s probably looking down feeling very proud.”

    Bess now hopes to win his first England cap at Lord’s as Joe Root’s side look to draw on home comforts having lost Test series in Australia and New Zealand over the winter.

    Watch England's Test highlights from 2017

    The Three Lions won home series against South Africa and West Indies in Joe Root's first summer as captain

    “I’ve got to show what I can do. Fingers crossed, if I get the nod I will be ready. I always back myself and I think that’s one of my strongest attributes. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Bess continued. 

    “I want to prepare myself as if I’m going to play and just enjoy every moment. It’s such a privilege to get an England call up, I’m going to soak it up and make the very most of the experience.”

    For England's full summer fixture list, click HERE.




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