England news September 19, 2010

Bell recalled to England one-day squad

Cricinfo staff

Batsman Ian Bell, who scored a century in Saturday's CB40 final, has been added to England's squad for the remaining two one-day internationals in the NatWest Series against Pakistan.

Bell has not been part of the England set-up since breaking a bone in his foot while fielding during the second one-day international against Bangladesh at Bristol earlier this summer. He has since recovered from the metatarsal injury, scoring 107 off 95 balls in Warwickshire's victory over Somerset at Lord's.

"It's fantastic to have him back in the squad," Andrew Strauss, the England captain, said. "He wasn't in originally because we weren't sure about where he was in his recovery and he needed some cricket for Warwickshire. He's played very well and strengthens are squad to give us more options batting wise."

Bell made a successful return to the one-day squad in the first match against Bangladesh, where he struck an unbeaten 84 to seal victory at Trent Bridge but was soon back on the sidelines after his injury at Bristol. With England's impressive one-day form it's a battle to find a place in the line-up, especially with Kevin Pietersen to return, but Bell feels he is now coming into his prime.

"I'll just keep working as hard as I can to get in the side in one-day cricket as well as Test cricket," he said. "I feel I'm improving all the time. I'm desperate to keep improving because at 28 the best years are still to come.

"It's been great to be back on field. When I did the injury the England guys and the specialists erred on the side of safety," Bell added. "The surgeon suggested eight weeks off, I probably could have played after seven but was it worth risking it ahead of aus? Probably not.

"So hats off to the ECB - Kirk Russell [the physio] and Nick Pierce the doctor got it right in terms of giving myself enough time but also getting some cricket under my belt."

Paul Collingwood, who missed the third one-dayer at The Oval with a virus, trained with the squad on Sunday at Lord's and is likely to be available. Strauss confirmed that Bell wasn't in as cover and will stand an equal chance of being selected.