Ian Bell has been appointed as the new captain of Warwickshire CCC captain, after Varun Chopra stepped down today to concentrate on his batting.
Bell has been at Warwickshire since he joined the Under-11s side, and he made his professional debut for the club in 1999. Bell brings vast experience to the role, with a glittering international career behind him, in which he won five Ashes series- representing England in 118 test matches, 161 ODI’s and eight T20 Internationals. But the batsman has also shone on the county scene and has already won two County Championships, two List A tournaments and a NatWest T20 Blast title.
Bell is delighted to take over the Bears captaincy saying: “The Club and Edgbaston have been a huge part of my life since an early age and, in the past, I have made no secret of my desire to captain the Bears.”
Chopra who captained the Bears to the 2014 Natwest T20 Blast title, had a quiet year with the bat last year and it appeared to affect his captaincy. The Bears finished fifth in the County Championship in 2015, and Chopra failed to pass 1000 first-class runs for the second season running.
He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as captain of the Bears and regard our NatWest T20 Blast success in 2014 as one of the best moments of my career.”
Though he did captain the Bears to the semi-finals of the Natwest T20 Blast in 2015, he came under some criticism for his captaincy- particularly in the Royal London 50 over competition.
“Whilst it has been a difficult decision to make, I feel that focusing on my batting is in the best interests of the team and I’m looking forward to fully supporting Ian, scoring as many runs as possible and hopefully contributing to more success in 2016 and beyond.”
There’s no doubt that Ian Bell will be a huge addition to the Bear’s already talented squad, as they bid for success in the 2016 season. Not only bringing his classy batting to the side, but also his vast experience will help him captain the side in all formats.
In preparation for the 2016 season Warwickshire travel to Dubai for a two-week pre-season tour on 1 March before returning to Edgbaston, and eventually starting their season on 10 April against Hampshire in the County Championship.