Ian Bell of Birmingham Bears drives during the T20 Vitality Blast against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at The County Ground in Northampton on 1 September 2020.
Andy Kearns/Getty Images
Former England batsman Ian Bell will retire from professional cricket at the end of the 2020 domestic season, the five-times Ashes winner announced on Saturday.
The 38-year-old last played for England in 2015, but has been a regular for Warwickshire – the only county he has represented during his career – since then.
Bell, however, missed the whole of the 2019 campaign through injury, but has struggled this term with a top score of 28 across all formats.
“It’s true when they say you know when the time’s right, and unfortunately, my time is now,” said Bell in a statement.
“While my hunger and enthusiasm for the sport that I love remain as strong as ever, my body simply can’t keep up with the demands of the game to the standard of which I expect of myself.”
Bell was the last member from either side who played in England’s celebrated 2005 Ashes win still playing first-class cricket and he also helped his country win the urn against their arch-rivals on four further occasions.
One of the most stylish batsmen of his generation, Bell scored 7 727 runs in 118 Tests, including 22 hundreds, at a fine average of 42.69.
He also appeared in 161 one-day internationals and eight T20 internationals.
Bell’s first-class career has so far yielded 20,300 runs at 43.46, with 57 hundreds.
“It’s been an absolute privilege and honour to fulfil my boyhood dream of playing for both England and Warwickshire,” said Bell.
“As a child, to play just once for either would have been enough for me, but to do so for the past 22 years is more than I could have ever wished for,” he added.
“To have spent my entire career and won trophies with my boyhood club is something both myself and my family are enormously proud of.
“To everyone associated with the club; the staff, players, fans and anyone I’ve worked with during this time: thank you.”