Bess Heath is carving out quite the career - both on the cricket pitch and in her woodworking shop, writes Rachel Steinberg.
The 19-year-old, who will represent the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred this summer, has been touted as a possible successor to England wicket-keeper Amy Jones.
Heath wields a bevel as well as she does a bat, selling her own handcrafted wood products when she's not playing cricket.
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An unconventional upbringing led to a visceral love of the game she seems to exponentially excel at playing.
"So after primary school we were homeschooled. We had lots of projects going on outside," she recalled.
"We built a little house down the garden, kind of thing.
"I was always determined to get as far as I could in any sport I was playing.
"But the homeschooling side of things, it was more just going out into the garden, creating stuff and learning off your own back of things you might want to explore.
"I think I worked with some horses for a while, and explored that avenue and did some horse riding.
"It was always just figuring out what you wanted to do and what you wanted to learn each day again."
Heath and her Northern Diamonds teammates are drawing on lessons from last year, gearing up for another shot at the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy after losing to Southern Vipers by 38 runs in the final of 2020's 50-over tournament.
Heath's potential was on full display last week in a pre-season friendly against England Academy, racking up a quick 30 off 20 balls, including the only six of the match.
The Derbyshire native played hockey, lacrosse and netball, but it was cricket that properly swayed her soul. The youngest of four siblings - all the rest boys - drew inspiration from her garden, not World Cups.
She said: "When I was growing up we didn't have a TV, we didn't really watch any cricket.
"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.
"But there was a period where we were watching the World Cup a couple of years ago, I was around with my friends, and we'd just finished the cricket game.
"Obviously the women won, and it was a great memory in that instance, but other than that I fell in love with it through playing."
And despite her rising success in the game, her favourite memory is still familial - a club match where she nearly made a half century. But it was the teammates, at the end of the day, who mattered most.
"We had on all three of my brothers and my dad was playing," she recalled.
"I think I got something like 42, but it was just having my family around and being at the local club and being around that kind of atmosphere was the thing for me, really."
Heath's analog youth might lead one to believe she'd be put off by the pomp of the Hundred, a tournament seemingly marketed precisely at the sort of television-obsessed, short attention span-possessing Gen Z contingent Heath's parents were once worried she'd become.
Earlier this week, organisers announced the event would also feature live musicians and DJs in an effort to "see sport and entertainment collide on a scale never seen before".
Heath, perhaps surprisingly, was delighted by the spectacle.
"It's going to be flares everywhere, isn't it?" she asked.
"It's an exciting game. I think to have the atmosphere is exciting, and the buzz and that kind of thing is great.
"Me playing, when I'm on the pitch, I love to have the noise around me. It was very strange last year, with having no one in the crowd. It felt a bit lonely in a way.
"So it would be great to have the buzz and get the adrenaline going a bit more."
Away from the pitch, Heath's ambitions still feel more like something out of Thoreau's Walden than Wisden's Cricketers' Almanack.
She said: "I really want to buy a long wheelbase and turn it into a camper, like travelling and that kind of thing.
"But I'd also love to be able to build a little wood cabin in the middle of a field and have a little getaway and turn that into an Airbnb. That's a dream."
And playing for England?
"Maybe, hopefully I'll get there. But there's some great keepers out there, and some great players.
"So I'll keep doing what I'm doing. Hopefully I'll get there one day."
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