Bell bullish on Bears hopes
England commitments may limit Ian Bell's availability for Warwickshire, but he remains as determined as ever to aid the club's quest for continued success.
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Along with England team-mate Jonathan Trott, Bell has had few opportunities to represent the Bears in recent years, with a hectic international schedule understandably taking precedence over domestic action.
Yet while the two batsmen made just six appearances between them in 2012 as Warwickshire claimed the LV= County Championship title, both are able to reflect on significant contributions.
Trott's 178 enabled Warwickshire to take a healthy haul of bonus points from a rain-affected draw at Sussex last April and, the following week, Bell's first-innings 120 - together with 10 match wickets for Keith Barker - underpinned a home victory over Durham.
"It's nice when you look back," said Bell.
"We (he and Trott) both played limited parts of the championship last year, but we both scored hundreds that helped, so when you have made a contribution to your club winning something it's nice.
"Every time you get the opportunity to pull a Warwickshire shirt on it's a chance to go and do something. Also there's some young players around, so you can try and help them develop as well, which is something I try and do here.
"Bell credits the players and coaching staff at Warwickshire for making his own switches from England to club duty so comfortable.
Ashley Giles, the former director of cricket at Edgbaston who now serves as England's limited-overs head coach, and his successor Dougie Brown each enjoyed successful playing careers with the county.
"With Ashley as coach before and Dougie who I've played with, it's easy to pick up the phone," Bell added.
"The guys are always very good with myself and Trotty coming back in. They make us feel very welcome, but even when I'm not here with Warwickshire I'm keeping an eye on everything and speaking to the guys.
"It always seems like quite a smooth transition. I think that's down to the set-up we have here.
"Warwickshire's current strength - they also finished as runners-up to Hampshire in last year's Clydesdale Bank 40, a competition they won in 2010 under Bell's captaincy - was today emphasised by their players making up a fifth of England's provisional 30-man Champions Trophy squad.
Bell, Trott and Chris Woakes were predictably selected, while there were also call-ups for rejuvenated all-rounder Rikki Clarke and uncapped duo Varun Chopra and Chris Wright.
"Here at Warwickshire we've consistently been pretty good in our Pro40 cricket and our four-day cricket," explained Bell.
"It's a great reward for those guys who have been consistent for us, getting into that 30-man squad. It's a good sign for the club. Hopefully when players here see those around them getting in that squad it pushes everyone that bit further forward."