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Bell 'shocked' by England row

Ian Bell today spoke of the shock in the England squad at the disintegration of Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores' working relationship which yesterday culminated in their departures.

The England number three, for one, was unaware that the differences between Pietersen and Moores was anything more than the normal frank exchange of views which are part and parcel of daily life in any cricket team.

"We are pretty shocked. We never really knew things were so bad," Bell told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"With captains and coaches, people are going to have their own ideas; there are always going to be conversations where people want their way and others want something slightly different.

"I was very shocked to see how fast it developed."

Even as it became clear over the past week that the issue was about to come to a head, Bell did not expect the captain to resign and the coach to be sacked.

"I am very amazed that both have gone," he said.

"It is really important now as a team that we get back together and back on track."

To achieve that, Bell prescribes unity under new captain Andrew Strauss - with Pietersen's world-class batting talent at his disposal.

Pietersen has made it clear he wants to be part of the tour to West Indies, which starts this month, and the Ashes next summer - but that has not stopped some people suggesting he may be tempted to walk away from England after having to give up the captaincy in difficult circumstances after just three Tests in charge.

"We want to get back on the field as fast as possible and give Straussy as much support as we can," said Bell, who insists Pietersen's continued presence is a necessity.

"He is the best player in the world - that is something you want in your dressing room.

"He is a match-winner who can turn things on their head - and he plays well under pressure.

"Kevin Pietersen makes England a lot better team than we are without him."