Ian Bell retires from ODIs to prolong Test career
England’s Ian Bell announced his retirement from the one-day international with immediate effect to give time to his Test career. Bell, who was the part five-time Ashes-winning England team and only the second player to achieve the feat after Ian Botham has said that he will continue to play Tests for England.
Bell himself wrote in an article in Metro UK that had decided to concentrate only on Test and will play for few more years. The 33-year-old batsman retires as England’s highest run scorer in ODI’s.
He wrote, “I’ve a huge amount still to give in the Test arena and still have so many ambitions left to achieve, both from a personal and a team perspective. I’ll say it now, I would love nothing more than to go to Australia in two years’ time and right the wrongs of our last Ashes tour there. I’ve also been asked if I would like to become the first ever English six-time Ashes winner and the answer is yes, absolutely. If I’m playing well and feeling fit, that is without doubt my goal.”
Bell wrote that after the Ashes series end, every player is drained out and this time I gave my future a thought about the same.
“At the end of every Ashes series you’re left both physically and mentally drained and, as I said to Jonathan Agnew as the celebrations began at The Oval, I needed to take a bit of time to consider what the future holds,” he continued. “He also goes on to say in the article that playing for England means a lot to him and that he has the hunger to perform better and give his 110 percent each and every time he steps onto the field. He said that he had a long chat with coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Alastair Cook about his future and deep down he still felt the hunger to play for England.
“I spoke with our Trevor Bayliss, Paul Farbrace and Alastair Cook in the aftermath of the Oval Test. We had a really good talk and I was as honest as I could be. Deep down though, I think I probably knew I wasn’t ready to call time on my England Test career. I still have that hunger and desire. The day you don’t, is the day you step away.”
The right-handed batsman had a talk with everyone before he took the big decision, especially with the close ones.
“Since then I’ve sat down with the people whose opinions matter most to me, like my wife and my dad, and it became clear pretty quickly that I still have plenty I want to achieve in Test cricket. The words of encouragement I’ve received from so many people and the few days of rest I’ve had have already emphasised to me that I’m in no way ready to finish.”
He went on to say in the article that he will be stepping away from ODI’s so as to youngsters a better opportunity and will also help him in focusing on the longer format of the game.
“Stepping completely away from the one-day side of things, however, and allowing the young guys to make their mark on the team, will allow me to focus on my goals within the Test set-up and for me to get back to playing my best red-ball cricket.
It’s been an honour and a privilege to represent the ODI side on so many occasions and I’m hugely proud to hold the run scoring record, but now is the time to celebrate the new flock of incredibly talented guys coming through and watch them develop into a team everyone can be proud of. Something I have no doubt they will do.”
England’s leading ODI run-scorers
For now Bell just wants to kick back and enjoy his free time with his family and then focus on preparing for the next Test series which is against Pakistan in UAE.