Ashes winner Ian Bell joins Derbyshire for stint as batting consultant

County Cricket

Five-time Ashes winner Ian Bell has been announced as Derbyshire’s batting consultant for the first two months of the upcoming county season.

The former England batter’s 7,727 runs in 118 Tests at an average of 42.69 included 22 centuries while he was an instrumental part of the side that reached number one in the rankings in 2011.

Widely acknowledged as one of the most elegant batters of his era, Bell also featured in 161 one-day internationals and eight Twenty20s before hanging up his spikes at the end of the 2020 domestic season.

Ian Bell is a five-time Ashes winner (Philip Brown/Pool/PA)
Ian Bell is a five-time Ashes winner (Philip Brown/Pool/PA)

Bell, who has joined Derbyshire for the opening block of LV= Insurance County Championship fixtures and replaces batting lead Mal Loye, is relishing the chance to work with head coach Mickey Arthur.

The 39-year-old said: “As a young coach, the opportunity to learn from one of the biggest names in the game was massive. Mickey has big plans for the future of Derbyshire, and I’m really excited to be part of it for the next couple of months.

“There’s a lot of talent there. Now it’s about making sure that it’s always on show across all formats. Between them, our batters have more than 100 all-formats centuries and there’s the ability to make big scores, my job is to help them to continue progressing and perform at their best.”

Bell is relishing working with Derbyshire coach Mickey Arthur (David Davies/PA)
Bell is relishing working with Derbyshire coach Mickey Arthur (David Davies/PA)

Bell amassed in excess of 20,000 first-class runs in a distinguished 22-year playing career, helping Warwickshire claim six trophies, including two championship titles.

Arthur said: “As a player, Ian had a career which any batter would be proud of, and it will be a great opportunity for our players to learn from him and develop under his coaching.

“Last season, the batting was an aspect of the squad’s game that needed to improve, so Ian’s arrival gives us a real boost, he has considerable international experience and that will help us continue to drive the standards we’ve set for the team.”