|Birth Day:||April 11, 1982|
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He made his Test debut in 2004 and was named Emerging Player of the Year by the ICC in 2006.
Bell made three appearances for Warwickshire's second team in 1998, his next matches at senior level were with the England Under-19 cricket team on their tour of New Zealand that winter. He made 91 in the first innings of the first Test, and 115 in the first innings of the third; Dayle Hadlee called Bell "the best 16-year-old I've ever seen", and he was often compared with former England captain Mike Atherton. Bell played in several more Under-19 series, captaining the team at home against Sri Lanka in 2000, in their 2000/01 tour of India, and for the first match at home against West Indies in 2001.
By this time Bell had made his first-class debut, appearing in a single match for the Warwickshire first team in September 1999, but was out for a duck in his only innings and played no further part at that level until 2000/01, when he followed on from his Under-19 matches by playing for England A against the Leeward Islands in the Busta Cup tournament game in Anguilla.
Bell broke into the Warwickshire first-team in 2001 as he scored 836 runs in 16 innings including three centuries and two scores of 98. His first century, a score of 130 against Oxford UCCE, made him the county's youngest ever centurion at 19 years and 56 days. He also became the county's youngest capped player ever when Warwickshire awarded him a county cap on the final day of the season.
In 2002 Bell's four-day form fell away as he scored 658 at an average of 24.37 however he was instrumental in the county's Benson & Hedges Cup success. He top-scored in the Quarter-final (scoring 85 not out), Semi-final (46) and Final (65 not out), the latter performance winning him the Gold Award in the last ever Benson & Hedges Cup final.
Bell's best form in 2003 once again came in the one-day format, he scored 779 runs at 28.85 in the County Championship compared to 560 runs at 43.07 in the National League, his best performance came at Chelmsford where he scored his maiden one-day century, 125 off 113 deliveries, as well as taking 5/41, his best one-day bowling figures. This was only the second time a Warwickshire player had achieved this feat.
After two poor seasons Bell was back to his best in 2004, he scored 1498 Championship runs which included six centuries. One of the six was a career-best 262 not out against Sussex; the innings lasting ten minutes short of ten hours made him the county's youngest ever double-centurion. In late July he began an impressive sequence of four centuries in five first-class innings, the other being a score of 96 not out. The centuries in both innings against Lancashire were the first by a Warwickshire batsman against an authentic attack (David Hemp achieved the feat against declaration bowling) since Brian Lara in 1994. This run of form led to him being brought into the England Test squad when Graham Thorpe was left doubtful with a finger injury.
In 2005, Bell enjoyed a superb start to the season, scoring 480 first-class runs in April alone to break Graeme Hick's 17-year-old record. He was recalled to the England team for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, however England's innings victories in both Tests allowed him only two innings. In the first Test at Lord's, Bell made 65 not out, and in the second at Chester-le-Street he scored 162 not out, in the process becoming the first Englishman since Leslie Ames in 1935 to score over 100 runs before lunch in a Test match.
For the 2005 Ashes series, three players – Bell, Graham Thorpe and Kevin Pietersen – were in the running for two spots in the team, and Bell and Pietersen were preferred to Thorpe. Before the first Test at Lord's, Bell's test average was 297, rising to 303 just before he was out, the sixth highest average at any point of a player's career of all time. Bell failed in the first two matches, at Lord's and Edgbaston, but in the third Test at Old Trafford he overcame early struggles against Shane Warne to post a half-century in each innings. However, he only scored six runs in four innings in the fourth and fifth Tests, including a pair at the Oval, leaving him with a batting average for the series of only 17.10, by far the lowest of the English batsmen. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2006 New Year Honours. Despite England winning the Ashes back and being appointed MBE, Bell has since described the 2005 Ashes as a low point during which he doubted himself.
This form on the subcontinent continued on 18 February 2006 in England's first warm-up game prior to the Test series against India when Bell top-scored with 78 at Mumbai. He could not maintain this form into the Test series where, in 6 innings, he only scored 131 runs at an average of just under 22.
In September 2006 Bell was named in the squad for the Champions Trophy in India and also in the squad to tour Australia to attempt to retain the Ashes. In the absence of Marcus Trescothick he was promoted to open the batting for the one-day side. In England's three matches he scored 97 runs, at an average of 32.33. England lost their first two games (to India and Australia) and crashed out of the tournament despite a final group-stage win over eventual runners-up, West Indies.
On 21 August 2007, Bell scored his maiden ODI century in the first of seven one-day matches against India, scoring 126 runs off 118 balls (a strike rate of 106.8). Bell went on to score two more fifties in the next two games, including a player-of-the-match 79 at Edgbaston as England took a 2–1 lead in the series. Bell eventually averaged 70.33 for the seven games as England claimed the series 4–3, with a convincing 7 wicket win in the deciding match at Lord's, and Bell was named Man of the Series.
After a poor first Test for England which ended in a draw at Centurion, Bell, with scores of 5 and 2, Bell's place in the team was under fire. England Team Director Andy Flower gave Bell a vote of confidence and the response from Bell was his first Test match century since his 199 vs South Africa in July 2008. In the second Test at Durban, Bell scored 141 runs in the first innings to hush his critics – prior to this innings his Test batting average had fallen to 38.9. The final two tests were modest for Bell, who scored 166 runs in 4 innings at an average of 41.50. However, the series marked the beginning of a period of substantial batting achievement for Bell. Less than two years later his average would stand at 49.29; the figure at right shows that over the same period his ten innings moving average rose from 32 to 119 runs.
During the 2011 summer, Bell was an integral part of the team that inflicted a 4 – 0 Test whitewash over the Indian cricket team, helping England to become the number 1 team in the world for the first time since the ICC ranking came into existence. Bell was involved in a controversial run out during the series. Believing the ball to be dead after reaching the boundary, Bell left the middle to head in for tea, however the ball had not actually crossed the boundary and was promptly thrown in by the fielder and the bails taken off. Initially given out, the Indians retracted their appeal at tea and Bell returned to carry on his innings straight after. Bell scored his first double ton in the series, a test best of 235. For taking this decision the Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, won the 'Spirit of the cricket' award at the 2011 ICC Awards.
His innings of 159 against India at Nottingham was nominated to be one of the best Test batting performance of the year 2011 by ESPNCricinfo. For his performances in 2011, he was named in the World Test XI by Cricinfo.
Bell married wife Chantal in 2011. They honeymooned in the Maldives. She was described by David Lloyd as "A star of a missus." He is a football fan and an Aston Villa supporter and can be seen regularly at Villa Park during games.
Ian Bell started off rather ordinarily in this tour, as he struggled against the slow and dry pitches. In the first tour match at Brabourne Stadium at Mumbai, he scored just 5 against India A before being dismissed by Yuvraj Singh. He followed it up with a 4 & 28* against Mumbai A. He scored 0 & 22, 5 & 28* in the first two tests. In the 4th test at Nagpur, he scored 1 & 116* (from 306 balls). This unbeaten century on the slow, dry pitch ensured a stale draw on the 4th Test to win the series 2–1. Then in January 2013, he scored 91 (from 89 balls) in the Palam A Ground at Delhi against India A before being dismissed by Mohit Sharma. However, it was in a losing cause as they lost by 53 runs in Duckworth-Lewis method. Two days later, he scored 108 against Delhi cricket team (dismissed by leg spinner Varun Sood), yet again in a losing cause.
He played in the drawn three test series in New Zealand in March 2013, scoring an obdurate 75 in the last test at Auckland to help England to secure a draw similar to that at Cardiff against Australia in 2009.
On September 6, 2020, Bell announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the end of 2020 Northern summer. He was the final active member of 2005 Ashes series team.
Currently, Ian Bell is 39 years, 9 months and 7 days old. Ian Bell will celebrate 40th birthday on a Monday 11th of April 2022.
Find out about Ian Bell birthday activities in timeline view here.