Bell falls agonisingly short of 100 in his final first-class innings

Ian Bell falls agonisingly short of 100 in his final first-class innings before retirement with former England star receiving guard of honour when he went out to bat for Warwickshire

  • The 38-year-old received a guard of honour from Glamorgan players
  • Warwickshire batsman made 90 before he chopped on in Bob Willis Trophy tie
  • Bell will retire from playing at the end of season after playing for the Bears in T20

Ian Bell almost signed off from first-class cricket in the grand manner, only to be bowled for 90 by Glamorgan’s Timm van der Gugten playing for Warwickshire in the Bob Willis Trophy at Cardiff.

The 38-year-old, who had been given a guard of honour by his opponents as he emerged for his 524th and final first-class innings, had moved to within 10 of what would have been his 58th century when he chopped on. 

He will represent the Bears in the T20 Blast, and then call it a day, ending a career that brought him 118 Test caps and 7,727 runs, and 20,440 first-class runs in total at an average of 43.

Ian Bell fell agonisingly short of a fairytale ending to a memorable career on Tuesday

The 38-year-old received a guard of honour as he walked out to bat at Cardiff on Tuesday

The highlight of Bell’s career came during the 2013 Ashes, when his three hundreds were the backbone of England’s 3-0 win over the Australians, though by then he had already been a crucial part of a powerful middle order that helped England to top of the Test rankings in 2011.

He scored 22 Test hundreds in all – only Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen scored more for England – and played in an England-record five successful Ashes-winning series. He also appeared in 161 one-day and eight T20 internationals. 

The former England batsman will retire at the end of the 2020 domestic season.

Ex-England batsman Ian Bell announced he will retire at the end of the 2020 domestic season

The five-time Ashes winner has spent his entire career with Warwickshire and has announced his decision to call time on his playing days when the Bears wrap up their commitments this season.

‘It’s true when they say you know when the time’s right, and unfortunately, my time is now,’ the 38-year-old said in a statement.

‘While my hunger and enthusiasm for the sport that I love remain as strong as ever, my body simply can’t keep up with the demands of the game to the standard of which I expect of myself.’

He was part of England’s 2005 Ashes winning side and went on to win the urn four more times

Bell will perhaps be best remembered by England fans for being part of the side which reclaimed the Ashes in 2005, but he would lift the urn on four further occasions during a Test career which yielded 7,727 runs and 22 centuries.

He won 118 Test caps in total, while he played in 161 one-day internationals and eight T20 internationals.

Across his first-class career Bell has scored 20,300 runs at 43.46, with 57 hundreds. 

The 38-year-old has admitted that he will step away from the game due to his advancing age

He made his Test debut in 2004, an impressive 70 against the West Indies showing signs of what was to come, and the runs rarely dried up.

The 2005 Ashes success was followed by the 2009 regaining, 2010 defence and further wins in 2013 and 2015. 

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