Ian Bell: Warwickshire and former England batsman announces retirement

Ian Bell: Warwickshire and former England batsman announces retirement
Bell is England’s fourth-highest run scorer with 13,331 runs across all formats

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

The 38-year-old, a five-time Ashes winner, played 118 Tests for England and scored 22 Test centuries.

He spent his entire 22-year career at his home county Warwickshire, helping the side win six trophies.

“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.

Former teammate Chris Woakes saidexternal-link Bell was “one of the best players to watch ever”.

Only Sir Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have scored more Test centuries for England than Bell. He scored 7,727 Test runs at an average of 42.69.

Widely regarded as one of the most stylish batsmen of his generation, he also played 161 one-day internationals and eight Twenty20s.

He was player of the series in the 2013 Ashes, hitting three centuries in five matches as England beat Australia 3-0, and is the last of the players to have played in the famous 2005 Ashes series to retire.

Ian Bell
Ian Bell won the Royal London One-Day Cup with Warwickshire in 2016

Bell last played for England in 2015 but has since returned to play for Warwickshire, who he first joined as a junior at the age of 10. He made his first-class debut for the county as a 17-year-old in 1999.

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.

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.

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.

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