Friends Provident Trophy June 18, 2007

Warwickshire drop Bell for semi-final

Cricinfo staff

England have released the five players whose counties are in the Friends Provident Trophy semi-finals. Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Steve Harmison and Kevin Pietersen are all available, pending fitness tests.

But Bell will not feature - as Warwickshire have not selected him for their match against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. Pietersen, though, is likely to play for Hampshire and is being flown down to the south coast on a chartered helicopter. Bell could have gone on the same flight, but won't need to now.

"I was very keen to play in the semi-final," said Bell, "and appreciate the efforts that the ECB and the England team management had made to transport me to Hampshire immediately after the Test. I am naturally disappointed not to have been selected."

Colin Povey, the club's chief executive, said that he did not want to disrupt the current side. "We have a settled team and a side that is playing well at the moment. It would not be ideal preparation for Ian to travel such a long distance after a five-day Test, join the team late and still be at his peak the next morning.

"On this occasion we have decided to go with the players that have performed well for the Club in this competition to date."

Collingwood and Harmison will stay in Durham for their semi-final at The Riverside, and so will Cook, who is line to play against them for Essex.