|Full name||Ian Ronald Bell MBE|
|Born||11 April 1982
Coventry, West Midlands, England
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Bowling style||Right-arm medium|
|Test debut (cap 625)||19 August 2004 v West Indies|
|Last Test||14 January 2010 v South Africa|
|ODI debut (cap 184)||28 November 2004 v Zimbabwe|
|Last ODI||23 November 2008 v India|
|ODI shirt no.||7|
|Domestic team information|
|5 wickets in innings||0||0||0||1|
|10 wickets in match||0||n/a||0||n/a|
|Source: CricketArchive, 10 October 2009|
Ian Ronald Bell MBE (born 11 April 1982 in Coventry, West Midlands) is an England Test cricketer. He also plays county cricket for Warwickshire County Cricket Club. He is a right-handed higher/middle order batsman, described by The Times as an "exquisite rapier," and occasional right-arm medium pace bowler. He is also noted for his sharp reflexes and often fields in close catching positions.
Bell plays both Test and One Day International matches for England, and has hit nine Test centuries. In the 2006 New Year Honours List, Ian Bell was awarded the MBE for his role in the successful Ashes campaign of 2005 and in November 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Emerging Player of the Year award by the International Cricket Council. Since 2008, however, he has become a more infrequent member of the Test side.
As a youngster Ian attended Princethorpe College and made the 1st XI in year 7. He was not just a talented young cricketer; he also attended Coventry City's school of excellence, despite being a supporter of Aston Villa. His brother Keith, born two years later, plays amateur cricket for Staffordshire, and has also played seven games for the Warwickshire Second XI.
Bell made three appearances for the Warwickshire's second team in 1998, his next matches at senior level were with the England Under-19 cricket team on their tour of New Zealand that winter. He made 91 in the first innings of the first "Test", and 115 in the first innings of the third; Dayle Hadlee was moved to declare Bell "the best 16-year-old I've ever seen", and he was often compared with former England captain Michael Atherton. Bell played in several more Under-19 series, captaining the team at home against Sri Lanka in 2000, in their 2000/01 tour of India, and for the first match at home against West Indies in 2001.
By this time Bell had made his first-class debut, appearing in a single match for the Warwickshire first team in September 1999, but was out for a duck in his only innings and played no further part at that level until 2000/01, when he followed on from his Under-19 matches by playing for England A against the Leeward Islands in the Busta Cup tournament game in Anguilla.
Bell broke into the Warwickshire first-team in 2001 as he scored 836 runs in 16 innings including three centuries and two scores of 98. His first century, a score of 130 against Oxford UCCE, made him the county's youngest ever centurion at 19 years and 56 days. He also became the county's youngest capped player ever when Warwickshire awarded him a county cap on the final day of the season.
Bell was named in the first intake of the ECB National Academy who spent the 2001/02 winter in Australia . The day after he returned home from Adelaide he was brought into the full England Test squad to cover for the injured Mark Butcher on the New Zealand tour.
In 2002 Bell's four-day form fell away as he scored 658 at an average of 24.37 however he was instrumental in the counties Benson & Hedges Cup success. He top-scored in the Quarter-final (scoring 85 not out), Semi-final (46) and Final (65 not out), the latter performance winning him the Gold Award in the last ever Benson & Hedges Cup final.
Bell's best form in 2003 once again came in the one-day format, he scored 779 runs at 28.85 in the County Championship compared to 560 runs at 43.07 in the National League, his best performance came at Chelmsford where he scored his maiden one-day century, 125 off 113 deliveries, as well as taking 5/41, his best one-day bowling figures. This was only the second time a Warwickshire player had achieved this feat .
After two poor seasons Bell was back to his best in 2004, he scored 1498 Championship runs which included six centuries. One of the six was a career-best 262 not out against Sussex; the innings lasting ten minutes short of ten hours made him the county's youngest ever double-centurion. In late July he began an impressive sequence of four centuries in five first-class innings, the other being a score of 96 not out. The centuries in both innings against Lancashire were the first by a Warwickshire batsman against an authentic attack (David Hemp achieved the feat against declaration bowling) since Brian Lara in 1994 . This run of form led to him being brought into the England Test squad when Graham Thorpe was left doubtful with a finger injury .
Bell made his international debut in the final match of the Test series against the West Indies at The Oval. He hit 70, batting at number five in England's first innings; he was not required to bat again as England forced the West Indies to follow on and won the game by ten wickets.
Bell was selected as part of the squad to tour Zimbabwe and South Africa and he made his One Day International debut alongside Kevin Pietersen against Zimbabwe at Harare. Bell opened the innings and hit 75, which earnt him his first ODI man-of-the-match award. He played all four matches of the series averaging 40.75. Although he was not chosen for any of the Tests against South Africa, he was selected for the first four of seven ODI matches but struggled, making 26 runs in three innings.
In 2005, Bell enjoyed a superb start to the season, scoring 480 first-class runs in April alone to break Graeme Hick's 17-year-old record. He was recalled to the England team for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, however England's innings victories in both Tests allowed him only two innings. In the first Test at Lord's, Bell made 65 not out, and in the second at Chester-le-Street he scored 162 not out, in the process becoming the first Englishman since Leslie Ames in 1935 to score over 100 runs before lunch in a Test match.
For the 2005 Ashes series, three players – Bell, Graham Thorpe and Kevin Pietersen – were in the running for two spots in the team, and Bell and Pietersen were preferred to Thorpe. Bell failed in the first two matches, at Lord's and Edgbaston, but in the third Test at Old Trafford he overcame early struggles against Shane Warne to post a half-century in each innings. However, he only scored six runs in four innings in the fourth and fifth Tests, including a pair at the Oval, leaving him with a batting average for the series of only 17.10, by far the lowest of the English batsmen. Despite England winning the Ashes back and receiving an MBE, Bell has since described the 2005 Ashes as a low point during which he doubted himself.
Despite failing against Australia, he was included in the 17-man squad for the winter tour of Pakistan. There was speculation in the press that he wouldn't be included in the Test team, but when Michael Vaughan was injured before the first Test, Bell got another opportunity. He took it, scoring a century and two half-centuries in the three-match series, and becoming England's top scorer in the series with 313 runs at an average of 52.16. He also took his first Test wicket with his part-time bowling.
This form on the subcontinent continued on 18 February 2006 in England's first warm-up game prior to the Test series against India when Bell top-scored with 78 at Mumbai. He couldn't maintain this form into the Test series where, in 6 innings, he only scored 131 runs at an average of just under 22.
After returning from India, Bell had an average start to the season with Warwickshire. He was named in the squad of 13 for the first home Test of the summer, against Sri Lanka, but with the return of Marcus Trescothick, coupled with the good form of Paul Collingwood and the emergence of Alastair Cook, Bell was dropped from the starting 11. Bell was selected in the squad for the 5 match ODI series against Sri Lanka, and was one of only a couple of players to come through the series with any credit.
As a result of this, and the injury to Andrew Flintoff, Bell was recalled to the Test team for the first Test against Pakistan. After spending most of his career batting in the top four, he was asked to bat at number six. He scored a century in each of the first three Tests, becoming the first Englishman since Graham Gooch to score a century in three successive Test matches, but missed his chance to make it four in a row after scoring only 9 in the first innings and being 9 not out when the fourth Test unexpectedly finished a day early after the Pakistan ball tampering row. He finished the series with an average of 93.75, but surprisingly was not awarded the man-of-the-series award for England, with the honour going to Andrew Strauss who averaged 63.42. This run of form (100*, 28, 106*, 119, 4, 9, 9*) gave him an overall Test average of almost 48. Given his average against Australia was only 17, his average against all other sides was around 68. He also played in the ODI series against Pakistan, achieving his two highest scores at the time: 88 at Sophia Gardens and 86* at Trent Bridge, the latter earning him the man-of-the-match award following England's victory.
In September 2006 Bell was named in the squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in India and also in the squad to tour Australia to attempt to retain the Ashes. In the absence of Marcus Trescothick he was promoted to open the batting for the one-day side. In England's three matches he scored 97 runs, at an average of 32.33. England lost their first two games (to India and Australia) and crashed out of the tournament despite a final group-stage win over eventual runners-up, West Indies.
Coming into the Ashes series, with Andrew Flintoff named as captain for the tour and reclaiming his place at number six in the batting order, Bell was viewed as competing with Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood for two places in the starting eleven. However, because Marcus Trescothick returned to England prior to the first Test, Bell, Cook and Collingwood played in the team throughout the series. Scoring a total of 331 runs, including four half centuries, Bell averaged 33.10 for the series. He failed to convert good starts into big scores, and England suffered a 5-0 Test series whitewash. This poor run of results continued into the one-day series: England lost the Twenty20 game and the first of the ODI's. However, England squeaked through into the final of the Commonwealth Bank Series, and dispatched Australia in the finals in two straight games, with Bell scoring 65 in the first of them.
Bell was selected as part of England's 15 man squad for the world cup in the West Indies. England had a largely disappointing tournament and Bell's performances were typical of the team as a whole. At the start of the tournament he was selected to bat at number three, as England lost to New Zealand and stuttered to wins over Kenya, Canada and Ireland. Bell suffered an average run of form in these matches, scoring 5, 28, 16 and 31. After defeat to eventual runners up, Sri Lanka, a game is which Bell scored 47, England dropped Ed Joyce from the top of the order and Bell was promoted to open with captain Michael Vaughan. The change in position initially worked well as Bell scored 77 as England lost to Australia, but in the next two games, against Bangladesh and South Africa, he only managed scores of 0 and 7, and was dropped for England's final match against the West Indies, a game which England won. England finished fifth in the Super 8 stage of the tournament and failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
Ian Bell scored the fourth of England's hundreds against the West Indies in the first Test at Lord's in May. Along with Alastair Cook, Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior, they became the first four batsmen for England since 1938 to each score a century in the same Test match. Bell's innings came at number 6 in the batting order and after England declared he had the impressive record at that position of 484 runs at 121.00.
On 21 August 2007, Bell scored his maiden ODI century in the first of seven one-day matches against India, scoring 126 runs off 118 balls (a strike rate of 106.8). Bell went on to score two more fifties in the next two games, including a player-of-the-match 79 at Edgbaston as England took a 2-1 lead in the series. Bell eventually averaged 70.33 for the seven games as England claimed the series 4-3, with a convincing 7 wicket win in the deciding match at Lord's, and Bell was named Man of the Series.
Traveling with the team to Sri Lanka in late September 2007, Bell at first continued his impressive one-day form, scoring 131 from only 121 deliveries, in England's only warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Cricket Board XI. However, Bell struggled with the bat in the subsequent 5-game ODI series, scoring just 70 runs at an average of 14.00.
Bell recovered form in the first Test match, scoring 83 and 74, in vain, as England fell to an 88-run defeat. Sri Lanka won the Test series 1-0, after the second and third matches were drawn, and Bell finished the series with a batting average of 43.50.
Bell initially struggled for form as England opened its five game ODI series against New Zealand with two heavy defeats, scoring just 5 and 0. However, under pressure for his place in the side, Bell top-scored in England's win in Auckland in the third game of the series, with 73 runs, and then made 43 runs from 41 balls as England tied the fourth match, in Napier. Bell managed 24 runs in the final game as New Zealand clinched the series 3-1.
In the first Test match at Hamilton, Bell was hit hard on the wrist during New Zealand's first innings, whilst fielding at short leg. Despite initial fears that his wrist was broken and his tour would be over, the blow turned out to have only caused swelling and bruising. Bell went on to score 25 in England's first innings and top scored in the second innings with an unbeaten 54 as England crumbled to 110 all out and lost the match by 189 runs, the next highest score in the innings being 13 by Alistair Cook. In the second Test, Bell scored 11 and 41 as England won the match to level the series. His finest innings of the tour was in the final Test. After scoring 9 in the first innings, Bell was under some pressure to post a big score. He joined Andrew Strauss at the crease with England 140/3 and the pair proceeded to put on 187 runs and effectively put the match beyond New Zealand. In the process, Bell scored his 7th Test century, and his first overseas for more than two years. He finished the series with a batting average of 50.00, and became the second youngest England player to reach 2,500 runs.
Bell struggled in the home Test series, however, scoring only 45 runs in four innings, with a high score of 21*. He hit some form in the Twenty20 match that followed, top scoring with his highest score in that format, 60*, as England won by nine wickets. He then adopted the opening position for the following ODI series, however his form was intermittent with scores of 46, 0, 20, and 46.
Bell started off this series by hitting 199 before being dismissed by Paul Harris, one short of his maiden double century, thus becoming the first Englishman to be dismissed on 199. After the initial good start to the tour though, Bell struggled to find form and aside from a 50 in the first innings of the third Test , he didn't manage to progress much past the twenties and thirties. He suffered similarly in India and the West Indies, and following England's dismissal for 51 in the First Test, Bell was dropped in favour of Owais Shah.
Bell reacted well to being dropped and began to consistently score runs in the county championship that led to him being named in the 16-man training party for the tests against Australia and captain of the England Lions for their game against Australia, though he failed in that match, scoring 0 (a golden duck) and 20, and remained on the sidelines for the first two Tests of the series.
Bell was selected to play in the third Test at Edgbaston, his home ground, replacing the injured Kevin Pietersen. On his return to the Test side and batting at number three, he scored 53 in England's only innings in a drawn match. The 4th Test Match at Headingley, in which he was twice dismissed edging Mitchell Johnson for scores of eight and three gave Bell his part of a Test record - for the first time in the history of Test cricket the same middle order, three (Ravi Bopara), four (Bell) and five (Paul Collingwood), all failed to reach double figures in either innings, contributing 16 runs between them.
Nonetheless Bell made 126 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge the next week. He was then selected to play in the final Test at The Oval, and scored 72 to lay a foundation for England's 172-run first-innings lead. Though he was dismissed for four in the second innings, a debut century from Warwickshire colleague Jonathan Trott led England to a 197-run victory, and thus a 2–1 series victory in the Ashes. Bell was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson four times in his five innings in the series, and had scored 140 runs at an average of only 28, though with two half centuries.
|Ian Bell's Test Centuries|
|||162*||3||Bangladesh||Chester-le-Street, England||Riverside Ground||2005|
|||115||10||Pakistan||Faisalabad, Pakistan||Iqbal Stadium||2005/06|
|||106*||16||Pakistan||Manchester, England||Old Trafford||2006|
|||119||17||Pakistan||Headingley, England||Headingley Carnegie Stadium||2006|
|||109*||24||West Indies||London, England||Lord's||2007|
|||110||36||New Zealand||Napier, New Zealand||McLean Park||2008|
|||199||40||South Africa||London, England||Lord's||2008|
|||140||51||South Africa||Durban, South Africa||Sahara Stadium Kingsmead||2009|
|Opposition||Matches||Runs||Average||High Score||100 / 50||Runs||Wickets||Average||Best|
|Ian Bell's One Day International Centuries|
|||126*||48||India||Southampton, England||Rose Bowl||2007|
|Opposition||Matches||Runs||Average||High Score||100 / 50||Runs||Wickets||Average||Best|
|28 November 2004||Zimbabwe||Harare Sports Club, Harare||Batting: 75|
|8 September 2006||Pakistan||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||Batting: 86*|
|21 August 2007||India||Rose Bowl, Southampton||Batting: 126*|
|27 August 2007||India||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Batting: 79|
|Emerging Player of the Year