Sports News

Former England batsman Bell announces retirement at 38

(Reuters) - Former England and Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell announced on Saturday that he will retire from the professional game next week, bringing the curtains down on a 21-year career in international and country cricket.

Cricket - Ashes 2019 - First Test - England v Australia - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - August 1, 2019 Former England cricketer Ian Bell during a break in play Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Bell has played 118 tests for England, scoring 7,727 runs and winning five Ashes series, last playing for his country in 2015. The 38-year-old also played 161 one-day internationals, tallying 5,416 runs.

Bell, who made his first-class debut in 1999 aged 17, said that although he still had the hunger to continue playing having recently signed a contract extension with Warwickshire, he was far from his physical best.

"My body simply can't keep up with the demands of the game to the standard of which I expect of myself," Bell said in a statement posted on Twitter here.

“It’s been an absolute privilege and honour to fulfil my boyhood dream of playing for both England and Warwickshire.

“It’s true when they say you know when the time’s right, and unfortunately, my time is now.”

Bell, who missed the 2019 season with a tendon issue in his knee, said his last red ball game would begin on Sunday against Glamorgan in the Bob Willis Trophy while he would also play his last Twenty20 match next week.

After scoring more than 20,000 runs in first-class cricket which included 57 centuries, Bell added that he now plans to move into coaching after his retirement.

“Spending last winter coaching the England Young Lions has added fuel to my already sizeable coaching ambitions,” Bell added. “I’ll hopefully continue to be heavily involved in the sport.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar