Ian Bell next to benefit from England's vice-captaincy merry-go-round - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

Ian Bell next to benefit from England's vice-captaincy merry-go-round

The job has already been filled in the past by Stuart Broad and Matt Prior

cricket correspondent

England will leave the appointment of their Test vice-captain until next week. On the trusty principle which seems to have become the basis for filling the position, Buggins' Turn – the practice of appointing on the basis of seniority rather than merit – the nod is likely to be given to Ian Bell.

The job has already been filled in the past by Stuart Broad and Matt Prior, which leaves Bell and Jimmy Anderson as the two other senior players who could conceivably deputise for Alastair Cook in an emergency. Anderson, a shrewd judge of batsmen's weaknesses, has expressed leadership ambitions in the past but Bell has impressed most observers with his tactical acumen when leading his county, Warwickshire.

Still, if Anderson were to miss out this time his chance may well come. Neither Broad nor Prior is likely to be considered for the role when the selectors finally get round to deciding on it. Broad was quietly dropped from it after he kept being injured and then briefly lost his place.

Prior was made vice-captain for last winter's Ashes tour but was dropped from the side before the end of the series. He has been recalled for the match starting next Thursday at Lord's, but the selectors are unlikely to want to thrust too much responsibility on him.

Matt Prior (left) was vice-captain to Alastair Cook in Australia last winter but was dropped during the Ashes series Matt Prior (left) was vice-captain to Alastair Cook in Australia last winter but was dropped during the Ashes series (Getty Images)
They give the impression that in their ideal world they would rather continue their steadfast loyalty to Cook as captain while expecting all the senior players to offer unconditional support and guidance. While they may be prepared to do this, they also need someone who can take charge if Cook is either injured or has to leave the field.

The position, as with the vice-presidency of the United States, has some trappings but almost no responsibility. Indeed, by saying they expect all the long-serving players to be prominent in advising the inexperienced rump of the side, the selectors have diminished its kudos further.

But they will have to make a call quickly. Other countries treat it more seriously. Brad Haddin does it for Australia and when South Africa made Hashim Amla their Test captain this week they made a point of stating that A B de Villiers remained vice-captain. England will anoint Bell some time before Thursday.

Sri Lanka reduced their hosts Northamptonshire to 146 for 5 on the second day of their tour match at Wantage Road, after declaring their first innings on 558 for 8. Opener Kaushal Silva had to retire hurt on his overnight score of 152. Richard Levi was the pick of the county batsmen, scoring 64 off 66 balls.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week