On This Day in 2020: Ian Bell announces intention to retire from cricket

Bell finished his career with 20,440 first-class runs, including 57 centuries.

Pa Sport Staff
Tuesday 05 September 2023 06:00 BST
Ian Bell retired on this day in 2020 (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
Ian Bell retired on this day in 2020 (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Former England batter Ian Bell announced he would retire at the end of the domestic season on this day in 2020.

The five-time Ashes winner spent his entire career with Warwickshire and announced his decision to retire once the campaign concluded, with a shortened Bob Willis Trophy replacing that season’s County Championship due to Covid.

The then 38-year-old won 118 Test caps in total, while also featuring in 161 one-day internationals and eight T20 internationals.

Bell was part of the side which reclaimed the Ashes in 2005 and would lift the urn on four further occasions during a Test career which produced 7,727 runs at an average of 42.69 and 22 centuries.

He made his Test debut in 2004, scoring an impressive 70 against West Indies and giving a glimpse of what was to come during his illustrious career.

Although he averaged just 17.1 in the 2005 Ashes, Bell was a part of four further series victories against Australia, playing a more prominent role in regaining the urn in 2009 and further wins in 2013 and 2015.

Bell finished his career with 20,440 first-class runs, including 57 centuries.

Bell said in a statement announcing his retirement: “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.”

“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.”

Bell added that he was offered a new deal but could not sign on the dotted line because he “couldn’t disrespect the club I love by being unable to play to the level they deserve”.

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