Cricket World® Player Of The Week - Ian Bell

England and Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell has been named as the Cricket World® Player Of The Week after his innings of 199 in the first Test between England and South Africa at Lord's. With Andrew Flintoff poised to return to England action, the likes of Bell and Paul Collingwood were under pressure to perform and the pressure was heightened when he came to the crease after three wickets fell for three runs on day one. Bell responded with a Test-best score, and came within a single of scoring his second double century in as many games having scored 215 for Warwickshire against Gloucestershire the previous week but in the end became the first man to fall for 199 for England, and the seventh overall. The beginning of his rise to stardom could be traced back to 1996, where he was rewarded for a fine season which included 153 in the English Schools Cricket Association (ESCA) Under-14s Festival with a Cricket World® Monthly Youth Award. That award some 12 years ago saw him praised for a fine season with Coventry & North Warwicks CC, as well as Warwickshire and Midlands Under-15s. Other contenders for this weeks award were his England team-mate Kevin Pietersen, who marked his first Test against South Africa with 152, Ashwell Prince for scoring 101 when South Africa replied and Isa Guha, whose career-best figures of five for 14 helped England Women hammer the West Indies by ten wickets. The Cricket World ® Player Of The Week is judged by the Editorial Team, which takes into consideration matches played in the preceding week with the final decision made on Monday morning. Users are welcome to discuss the award and put forward contenders for each week's award on our forum, to do so, click © Cricket World 2008

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