Bell's toil for county earns Test recall after Thorpe injury
Tuesday 17 August 2004
Ian Bell looks set to make his England debut at The Oval on Thursday following his selection in the 13-man squad for this summer's fourth and final Test.
Ian Bell looks set to make his England debut at The Oval on Thursday following his selection in the 13-man squad for this summer's fourth and final Test. The Warwickshire batsman will have to wait until Graham Thorpe has a fitness test on the finger he fractured at Old Trafford on Sunday but the sight of Andrew Flintoff coming in to bat before England's number five yesterday suggests the Surrey batsman is struggling.
"Graham Thorpe has been retained in the squad for The Oval but his finger injury makes him doubtful," explained David Graveney, the chairman of selectors. "We will continue to monitor his fitness over the next 48 hours. Mark Butcher and Paul Collingwood are both unavailable due to injury so we have decided to add Ian Bell to the squad."
Bell fully deserves this opportunity after a wonderful summer with his county. The 22-year-old is currently the third-highest run-scorer in first-class cricket - after Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key - with 1,455 runs at the impressive average of 80.83.
This is not the first time that Bell has been selected in an England squad. The diminutive right-hander joined England in New Zealand in 2001-02 where he acted as cover for Mark Butcher and then again in the summer when Nasser Hussain's side took on Sri Lanka. But on each occasion Bell was overlooked.
This setback had an adverse effect on Bell who had two poor summers. This run of form led to the Warwickshire coach, John Inverarity, recommending that he go and play grade cricket in Perth, Western Australia.
Here Bell worked on his technique and tightened up his game. And the results have been spectacular. Bell has scored six hundreds this summer, including a career best unbeaten 262 against Sussex at Horsham. He is currently in excellent touch having scored four hundreds and a 96 not out in his last five innings.
Gareth Batty misses out but the remainder of the squad is unchanged.
England Squad (Fourth Test v West Indies, Thursday, The Oval): M P Vaughan (capt), J M Anderson, I R Bell, A Flintoff, A F Giles, S J Harmison, M J Hoggard, G O Jones, S P Jones, R W T Key, A J Strauss, G P Thorpe, M E Trescothick.
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts