Ian Bell announces retirement from One-Day Internationals
Bell, who has 5,416 runs from 161 games at an average of 37.87 with four hundreds and 35 fifties, is only the second player after Paul Collingwood to score more than 5,000 runs for England in ODIs.
Writing in his column for www.metro.co.uk, Bell stated that the recently concluded Ashes, which was his fifth successful campaign, had taken a toll on him.
"To sit here now as a five-time Ashes winner with the urn safely back in our hands is an amazing feeling, and something I struggle to put into words," he wrote.
“But it's taken a hell of a lot out of me, that's for sure.”
With an intention to devote his attention completely towards his Test career, Bell stated that it was the right time to step away from the ODI format.
"For that reason I've decided now is the right time to officially stand down from international one-day cricket and put all my focus and attention on my Test career."
In the ongoing Ashes, Bell managed to score only 215 runs from five games at an average of 26.87, with just three fifties under his belt.
After Gary Ballance was dropped for the third Test, Bell was promoted to the number three position and scored two fifties at his home ground,in the game at Edgbaston.
Fixing his aim towards winning the Ashes in Australia in 2017-18, Bell was looking forward to become England's only player to take part in six successful Ashes campaigns.
“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.”
Though England secured the Ashes victory in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge, they could not prevent Australia from winning the final Test by an innings and 46 runs.
Bell’s comments about taking stock of his future drew a lot of reaction from various quarters, with former and current players urging him not to take a hasty decision.
However, the 33-year-old revealed that he had an honest discussion with Trevor Bayliss, Paul Farbrace and Alastair Cook, following which he took the decision to retire from ODIs.
"Playing cricket for England means absolutely everything to me but I also know what it takes to be successful at the very highest level.
"I spoke with (coach) Trevor Bayliss, (assistant coach) Paul Farbrace and (Test captain) Alastair Cook in the aftermath of the Oval Test.
“We had a really good talk and I was as honest as I could be.”
Furthermore, Bell asserted that he never really felt like his Test career was over, as he was still having the determination to succeed in the format.
“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.”
After the disastrous campaign in Australia and New Zealand at the World Cup, Bell was dropped from England’s ODI squad that faced New Zealand in what was a highly entertaining series.
Bell’s name also did not feature in the squads announced to play the limited overs series against Australia.
© Cricket World 2015