Bess Heath is the name on the tips of all the tongues in the know, writes Rachel Steinberg.  

The 19-year-old Northern Diamonds wicket-keeper has been heralded as a potential successor to England’s Amy Jones.   

But ask the Derbyshire 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 lineup. 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 started playing cricket in 1997 - four years before Heath, the younger sister to three brothers, was born.   

“You don’t feel like you’re one of the younger ones,” insisted Heath.  

“You feel like a whole team. There’s quite a few experienced players, and it’s great to be able to chat to them and get questions answered.   

“You feel more like family.”  

Heath’s bona-fide Gen-Z credentials make the no-television tidbit that much more unusual.  

The all-rounder admitted: “It’s a bit controversial.   

“But my mum felt that my dad wasted too much time watching TV, so we never really had it.  

“We had a computer and that kind of thing, but we were very much pushed to go outside and do something rather than watch TV.”  

While most kids her age were glued to a screen, Heath, who was homeschooled after year six, was getting covered in sawdust and actual glue.  

She discovered a love of woodworking, and has crafted everything from chopping boards to coffee tables.   

Last year, she turned her hobby into a business, Silva Boards, and displays her wares on Instagram.   

“This year I actually started getting a little bit more into social media, heading into the 21st century,” she joked.  

“But we’ve done the odd couple of shows, and they were a boom and hopefully trying to do that again.”  

Despite her success on the pitch and in the shop, Heath doesn’t think there will be any joinery between the two.   

She said: “Me and my brother did try making a bat when we were younger.   

“It didn’t have a great middle, I have to say. But we tried. It’s in our rooms somewhere.”