LONDON: Former England batting great Ian Bell has taken the drastic step of resigning as Warwickshire captain in order to resolve his lack of runs.
The 35-year-old – who played the last of his 118 Tests against Pakistan in 2015 – has failed to sparkle with the bat this term as Warwickshire have been mired in a relegation battle from the top tier of the county championship.
Bell, who is averaging just 24.64 this season, will be replaced by another former star of the England batting line-up Jonathan Trott for the final five matches of the championship.
“It s been an absolute honour to lead my home county over the last 18 months and my decision to stand down is something that I have thought long and hard about over a period of weeks,” said Bell, who captained them to a one day trophy last year.
“This is the right time for me to stand down as captain, to focus on my batting and scoring runs, which will be the best thing for the team.
“As a senior player, I will support the team in all ways possible and I believe that our squad has very exciting times ahead.”
Bell, whose lack of form led to him being dropped from their T20 side the Birmingham Bears, has scored just one century since the beginning of last season.
“It s very brave of Ian to make this decision, but one that we fully respect,” said Ashley Giles, Warwickshire s sports director and a former England and county team-mate of Bell s.
“Having him focused solely on scoring runs for Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears is a huge asset to the club.
“The team has gone through a transformation period and Ian has been instrumental during this time, leading the team to a trophy at the end of 2016 and helping bring through several of our younger players in recent months, during a difficult period.”
Warwickshire face a real battle to avoid the drop as they presently lie bottom of the table 31 points adrift of safety.