Ian Bell explains why retirement is not on his mind

Ian Bell

Former England batsman Ian Bell has said the prospect of retirement is not on his mind after extending his contract at Warwickshire.

Bell has spent his entire domestic career with Warwickshire, and it was confirmed last week that he would be playing for them until at least the end of next summer.

Now aged 38, Bell has not played for England since 2015, but still feels he has a lot to offer at county level. He missed much of last season through injury, but the year before, he played a pivotal role in guiding Warwickshire to Division One of the County Championship.

And even though the end of his career is far nearer than the start, Bell insists he will keep playing as long as he can.

“[I’ve] not really thought about it, to be honest with you,” he said, when asked about retirement. “I think the key for me at the moment is just to take it small, year by year

“The conversations with [Warwickshire sport director] Paul Farbrace are quite simple. He wants to win.

“For me, if I feel like I’m playing the best cricket I can play, then I’ll want to keep going year by year.

“But yeah, I’m not looking too far ahead or making those assumptions or decisions just yet.”

Meanwhile, the UK government has approved the return of recreational cricket. As long as guidelines are followed, the sport will be allowed to return at the weekend.

And Bell is excited to see cricket return at all levels – noting how important it is to carry on the momentum of interest gained since England’s successful 2019.

“It’s great, we want to get some cricket going,” Bell added. “Obviously I feel for club cricket as well; hopefully they’re not far away as well, because we need from top to bottom everyone playing cricket.

“We don’t want to lose a whole summer of not playing cricket and certainly off the momentum of last season, winning a World Cup and watching what Ben Stokes did in particular in the Ashes.

“You want to carry that momentum on and I think it’s so important that we do get back playing.”