Cook urges Ian Bell to carry on playing for England

England's Ian Bell celebrates winning the Ashes with the urn.
England's Ian Bell celebrates winning the Ashes with the urn.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England captain Alastair Cook has urged his team-mate Ian Bell to carry on playing for England after the memorable 3-2 Ashes victory against Australia.

In the five Ashes Tests, Bell scored only 215 runs at an average of 26.87, with three fifties to his name.

Ian Bell - year-by-year

2004: 70 runs @ 70.00

2005: 711 runs @ 44.44

2006: 738 runs @ 41.00

2007: 777 runs @ 40.89

2008: 676 runs @ 37.56

2009: 319 runs @ 31.90

2010: 786 runs @ 65.50

2011: 950 runs @ 118.75

2012: 672 runs @ 33.60

2013: 1,005 runs @ 41.88

2014: 452 runs @ 34.77

2015: 413 runs @ 24.29

After losing the final Ashes game at The Oval by an innings and 46 runs, Ian Bell told BBC Radio that he will be contemplating his future.

"I've hopefully got a lot of cricket ahead of me,” said Bell.

“Over the next couple of weeks, I'll take stock and think about what is going on.

“It takes a lot of effort to play for England and a lot of sacrifices and we'll soon see.” 

Not reading too much into Bell’s statement, Cook hoped that Bell will stay around for a few more years as he will have a big part to play in the future.

“He still has a big part to play,” said Cook.

“He’s an absolutely wonderful player; a class player.

“I haven’t actually heard exactly what Belly (Bell) has said but he’s a class player and I hope he’s around for a few more years.” 

Furthermore, Cook believed that the emotions involved over the last couple of weeks had a part to play in Bell's statement.

“I think it’s such an emotional time over the last 10 days in terms of emotional highs and what we’ve just experienced – and everyone is pretty tired – that what you say in an interview now might not be what you believe deep down.”

Bell’s batting averages for 2013, 2014 and 2015 read 41.88, 34.77 and 24.29 respectively, showing a steady decline in his performance.

In his column for The Daily Telegraph, former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott also urged Bell not to make any hasty decisions in the upcoming few weeks.

“My advice would be to do nothing, go away and have a month’s rest; do not make such an important decision when you’re feeling lethargic and out of sorts.

“Does he (Bell) have the hunger, the energy and desire? If not, then call it a day.

“But it’s a bad time to make a decision now.” 

England and Australia will now take part in a limited overs series, which will consist of a lone Twenty20 International and five One-Day Internationals, beginning from the 31st of August.  

© Cricket World 2015