England batsman Ian Bell on Saturday announced his retirement from all forms of the game bringing an end to a career spanning 22 years. The current county season for Warwickshire will be Bell’s last.
Bell, who represented played 118 Tests, 161 ODIs and 8 T20Is, was one of the mainstays in England’s batting line-up when they attained the No.1 status in ICC Test rankings. The right-hander, however, had last played an international match 2015 against Pakistan.
He is also one of only three English men’s cricketers to have won the Ashes five times and only two batsmen have scored more than his 5,416 runs in ODI cricket.
Bell has spent his entire domestic career with Warwickshire and announced Saturday his decision to call time on his playing days when the team wraps up its commitments this season.
“It’s true when they say you know when the time’s right, and unfortunately, my time is now. 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,” said Bell.
“It’s been an absolute privilege and honour to fulfil my boyhood dream of playing for both England and Warwickshire. 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.
“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.
It’s true when they say you know when the time’s right, and unfortunately, my time is now.
It’s been a pleasure.
— Ian Bell (@Ian_Bell) September 5, 2020
“I recently signed a contract extension to continue playing for the Bears, but I couldn’t disrespect the club I love by being unable to play to the level they deserve. Farby, Stuart and the whole team have been hugely understanding with my decision and I’m very grateful of their support.
“There are too many names of people I need to thank for all the help, guidance and support I’ve received throughout my career, but I can’t finish this without thanking my amazing wife, Chantal, my wonderful children, Joseph and Jesse, and my unwaveringly supportive parents. I love you all.
“Finally though, thank you to all the cricket fans for the most unbelievable support I’ve had throughout my career.”
Bell scored 7227 runs at an average of 42.69 with 22 hundreds to his name in Test cricket. The right-hander, who mostly batted at No.3, scored 5416 ODI runs at an average of 37.87.