Ian Bell hints at retirement after England win the Ashes

Australia won the Fifth Test to put a slight dampener on celebrations at The Oval

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The Independent Online

England batsman Ian Bell is keen to prolong his career but hinted at retirement after saying he will "take stock" of his future in the next few weeks.

Bell - one of only three Englishmen, after Sir Ian Botham and Wilfred Rhodes, to feature in five Ashes-winning campaigns - was hit-and-miss in England's latest series victory over Australia.

The 33-year-old was shifted up the order to three after an indifferent start and he responded with a brace of crucial half-centuries on his home ground of Edgbaston, although he made just 24 runs in three innings at Trent Bridge and The Oval.

His place should be under no immediate scrutiny but Bell, now the only active international cricketer to have featured in the famous 2005 Ashes series after Michael Clarke's retirement, revealed the rigours of the game could prompt him to walk away.

"I'm pretty tired and looking forward to a break," he said on BBC's Test Match Special. "Ashes series take everything out of you. They are physically and mentally draining.

"Hopefully, I've got a lot of cricket ahead of me. I'll take stock over the next few weeks."

PA

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