England v West Indies, 4th Test, The Oval August 16, 2004

Ian Bell called up for fourth Test

Wisden Cricinfo staff



With Graham Thorpe and Mark Butcher injured, Ian Bell is set to make his England debut in the fourth Test © Getty Images

Ian Bell and Simon Jones have been called up for the fourth Test against West Indies, which starts at The Oval on Thursday (Aug 19). Bell will probably replace Graham Thorpe, who suffered a hairline fracture in the little finger of his right hand while batting during the current Test, in the side. Bell, 22, has scored 1455 runs in 14 first-class matches for Warwickshire this summer.

"Graham Thorpe has been retained in the squad but his finger injury makes him doubtful for the game, and we will continue to monitor his fitness over the next 48 hours," said David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors. "As both Mark Butcher and Paul Collingwood are unavailable for this Test match due to injury, we have decided to add Ian Bell to the squad. Ian has been in excellent form this summer and he fully deserves his opportunity at this level."

Bell is, naturally, ecstatic about his call-up. "I can't wait. I know a few of the guys quite well," he told Sky Sports News. "I'm looking forward to being a part of it. I guess possibly the last couple of years I've matured really as a cricketer. I have learned by playing alongside players like Nick Knight." Bell is also hoping that he will be able to use this chance to prove his worth to the selectors and book a place on England's winter tour of South Africa. "That would be the ideal," he added, "if I was to score some runs and get on that trip."

England squad
Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Robert Key, Michael Vaughan (capt), Graham Thorpe, Ian Bell, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones (wk), Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones, Steve Harmison, James Anderson.

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