Ian Bell honoured by Cricket Writers' Club
Ian Bell last night earned some consolation for missing out on a place in England's squad for the winter tour of South Africa, as he was named by the Cricket Writers' Club as their Young Cricketer of the Year, at their annual dinner in Hyde Park, London.
Bell has scored over 1500 runs for Warwickshire this season, to guide them to within touching distance of the County Championship, and also marked his Test debut at The Oval with a hard-fought 70 against West Indies. He was named ahead of Glamorgan's David Harrison and Essex's Alistair Cook, and received the prestigious award from the very first player to be so honoured, Roy Tattersall, who picked up the award in 1950.
Durham's Paul Collingwood pipped Bell to the final place in England's 16-man tour party to South Africa, but given that previous winners of the award include James Anderson, Andrew Flintoff, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton, he can expect to take a fuller part in England's plans sooner rather than later.
David Foot, the veteran Guardian journalist, who has written on cricket for more than 50 years, received the Peter Smith Award for services to the presentation of cricket to the public. Previous award-winners include Steve Waugh, Dickie Bird, and last year, Henry Olonga and Andy Flower - jointly honoured for their courageous black-armband protest at the 2003 World Cup.
"No-one is held in higher regard in the press boxes of the county circuit," said Pat Gibson, the chairman of the awards committee. "He has his own evocative style that transcends some of the harsher realities of modern sport, and it communicates his affection for the game and his appreciation of its true values."