Sidmouth CCs Josh Bess honoured for services to Devon cricket

PUBLISHED: 12:33 22 August 2019

Josh Bess receiving his engraved tankard from county chairman Neil Gamble: Picture: DEVON CCC

Josh Bess receiving his engraved tankard from county chairman Neil Gamble: Picture: DEVON CCC

Archant

Former Devon captain Josh Bess was honoured with two presentations prior to the county's Unicorns Championship game against Oxfordshire on his home ground at Sidmouth, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Mike Coxhead hands over a framed memento of the game against Dorset in which Josh Bess scored 203 and 70 and took six wickets and six catches. Picture: DEVON CCCMike Coxhead hands over a framed memento of the game against Dorset in which Josh Bess scored 203 and 70 and took six wickets and six catches. Picture: DEVON CCC

Bess stood down as player and county captain at the end of the 2018 season, 13 years after making his debut against Oxfordshire at Exmouth.

In that rain-ruined game he bowled seven balls and did not get to bat.

The last game Bess played for Devon was another wash-out, which was against Shropshire at Bridgnorth.

He made 97 in that match.

In total Bess played 92 times for Devon in all competitions.

He scored 3,859 runs and took 153 wickets.

The final time most Devon followers saw Bess in action was the penultimate game of the 2018 season, which was against Dorset at Sidmouth.

Bess made 203 not out in Devon's first innings and 70 in the second.

He also bagged six wickets for 66 run in the match and took six catches.

Devon won the game by a massive 272 runs.

All these highlights, and a few more, such as Bess' man-of-the-match award in the 2011 Minor Counties play-off triumph over Cambridge at March Town CC, were referenced by county chairman Neil Gamble in a pre-presentation speech.

Bess enjoyed two spells as devon captain, 2013-14 and 2017-18, during which he led Devon to victory in the 2014 Unicorns KO Cup final.

Gamble praised Bess's leadership qualities using a quote attributed to former US President Harry S Truman.

"Leadership is the ability to get men to do what they don't want to do and like it."

Gamble presented Bess with an engraved glass tankard celebrating his achievements for the county.

There was a separate presentation on behalf of Devon's hardy handful of travelling supporters, which was handed over by Mike Coxhead.

The gift was a framed scorecard setting out Bess's contribution to the win over Dorset in black and white, set side-by-side with a photo of the scoreboard showing his 203 not out.

Said Coxhead: "A small but loyal band of supporters followed Josh and his Devon team home and away.

"Josh is surely one of the finest all-rounder cricketers that Devon has produced.

"Thanks for the memories."

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