Ian Bell: Warwickshire and former England batsman announces retirement

Ian Bell

Warwickshire’s former England batsman Ian Bell will retire at the end of the 2020 domestic season.

He has been on the staff at Edgbaston for 23 years and helped his home county win six trophies.

The 38-year-old played 118 Tests, 161 one-day internationals and eight T20 games for England between 2004 and 2015.

“My body simply can’t keep up with the demands of the game to the standard of which I expect of myself,” Bell said.

“It’s true when they say you know when the time’s right, and unfortunately, my time is now.

“To have been part of an England Test team to reach number one in the world, to win five Ashes series, one of them as player of the series, and an away series in India is some return for a young lad who simply dreamt of batting at Edgbaston.

“Thank you to all the cricket fans for the most unbelievable support I’ve had throughout my career.”

He said he now hopes to pursue a coaching career in the game.

Bell has been short of runs after a delayed start to the season because of Covid-19, with a best score of only 28.

He was out for a three-ball duck in Birmingham Bears’ T20 Blast win over Somerset on Friday.

Bell’s decision came one day after seam bowler Graham Onions, an England Ashes-winning team-mate in 2009, announced his retirement because of a back injury.

Widely regarded as one of the most stylish batsmen of his generation, Bell first joined Warwickshire as a junior at the age of 10 and made his first-class debut as a 17-year-old in 1999.

The following year he was in the England squad at the Under-19 World Cup, and his debut for the senior national team came in 2004 when he made 70 against West Indies at The Oval in a 10-wicket win.

Ian Bell

Bell took part in five Ashes-winning series against Australia and scored 7,727 Test runs at an average of 42.69, including 22 centuries.

He missed much of the 2019 county season because of toe and knee injuries but also signed a new contract to run until the end of the 2021 season.

He has scored more than 20,000 first-class runs, with 57 centuries, plus almost 14,000 in limited-overs formats, playing overseas T20 cricket for Perth Scorchers and Islamabad United.

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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