England batsman Ian Bell has confirmed that he would like to see out his county career with Warwickshire.
Bell, 29, made his debut for Warwickshire in the final match of the 1999 season when he was summoned from the classroom at Princethorpe College to face Sussex at Edgbaston and his loyalty to his native county has been rewarded with a benefit this year.
Bell held a champagne launch at Birmingham’s Hotel du Vin on May 16 which was attended by some of the city’s major movers and shakers where he re-affirmed his desire to play for Warwickshire for another ten years.
“It seems a long time since I made my debut, but I guess I was lucky to play so young for Warwickshire,” Bell said.
“The last ten years or so have gone pretty quickly, but I’d like to think that I still have a lot more cricket to play for Warwickshire. I would still like to be here in ten years. I’ve not thought about going anywhere else.
“When I’m away with England or away on holiday I still look for their scores. Warwickshire is a massive part of my life and I would like it to stay that way.”
Bell will captain Warwickshire for their third consecutive County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge this week when he will face his England team-mates Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
Elected captain Jim Troughton will miss out again having suffered a recurrence of a shoulder problem batting in the Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Leicestershire at Grace Road on May 15.
But Troughton hopes to be fit for next week’s visit by Durham to Edgbaston when Bell and Jonathan Trott will be on Test duty with England and batsman William Porterfield and paceman Boyd Rankin will also be missing because of one-day international commitments with Ireland.
Bell will donate a percentage of the proceeds of his benefit year to the Acorns children’s hospice in Birmingham and his busy programme of events continues with a Twenty20 cricket match at Aldridge CC on June 10.