Bbl Stint An Opportunity To Show I Am A Good Player Ian Bell
Ian Bell, veteran English batsman, has long been in the firing line of trademark barbs from Australian players. As a mainstay of England's line-up from the mid-2000s until being dropped a year ago, Bell has been in the thick of some of the fiercest moments in modern Ashes battles.
Most famously, a decade ago, Bell copped a verbal volley from legendary Australian cricketer Shane Warne that has become part of sledging folklore. During the second Test of the 2006-07 Ashes series in Adelaide, Warne, renowned for his acidic tongue, had his sights set squarely on the talented 24-year-old batsman. Stump microphones picked up Warne calling Bell 'The Shermanator', a reference to a red-haired geeky character in the 1999 hit film American Pie.
Juxtaposed from some notable highs against the old enemy, Bell was part of humiliating whitewashes to Australia in 2006-07 and 2013-14, where England was beaten to a pulp much to the delight of gleeful local fans. Thus, it would be more than understandable if Bell was reticent about helping Australian cricket in any shape or form.
However, leaving some of the bitter memories in the past, Bell revealed he was willing to mentor Shaun and Mitch Marsh in a bid to help them get back into the Australian Test team. The 34-year-old will be teammates with the Marsh brothers during the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL), when he fronts up for the Perth Scorchers.
"My England hat is firmly at home," Bell told the Perth media on Monday (December 12). "This is about coming out and giving as much as I can to the Perth Scorchers, and helping every player I can. I've got experience in Test cricket, and if people want to talk about it, I'm more than happy and open to help as many of the players I can here."
Bell brings a wealth of experience to the Scorchers' line-up having played 118 Tests and 161 One-Day Internationals for England. He also enjoyed a successful T20 Blast with the Birmingham Bears underlying his batting versatility.
As he starts a new chapter with the Scorchers in his BBL initiation, Bell could easily be lured into the T20 circuit and become a coveted gun for hire. However, as his compatriots struggle in India, Bell admitted he was still yearning for a Test recall and hoped a successful BBL could be a launching pad back into the national frame.
"I want to get back into the Test team, there's no doubt," he said. "I've been working as hard on my game as I ever have. My body feels really good. I've had a couple of months off getting those niggles right. The energy levels and excitement about playing cricket is through the roof.
"Hopefully, this is another opportunity to go out and show people I'm a good player, and I can get back into the England team," he added.
Reflecting on past hard-nosed Ashes battles, Bell believed playing in Australia was a barometer for foreign cricketers. Sandwiched between those nightmarish whitewashes, Bell was a key cog of England's convincing 3-1 Ashes victory in 2010-11 - the only time they have won a Test series in Australia during the past three decades. Bell averaged 65.8 in the series punctuated by a century in the fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
"Australia is the toughest place to come. If you're wearing an England shirt and you come here, you know you're up for a scrap," Bell said.
The Scorchers, a two-time BBL champion, open their 2016-17 campaign against Adelaide Strikers at the WACA on December 23.