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Bell steps down from Warwickshire captaincy

Ian Bell bats for Birmingham Getty Images

Ian Bell has stepped down as captain of Warwickshire in all formats of the game having been dropped from their T20 side.

Bell, aged 35, has not made a Championship century since the first match of the 2016 season and, in this year's campaign, is averaging just 24.64. Warwickshire, bottom of the Division One table, are deep in relegation trouble.

Jonathan Trott will captain Warwickshire's Championship side until the end of the season. Grant Elliott has taken over as the T20 captain, with the Bears set to play a NatWest Blast quarter-final against Surrey on Friday.

The decision comes after a difficult few months for Bell. Dropped by England in both Tests and ODIs in 2015, it was anticipated that he would plunder county attacks on his return to the domestic game. But the runs have simply not come and, since the start of the 2016 season, he is averaging only 30.02 in first-class cricket.

It is understood Bell was highly disappointed with the decision to drop him from the T20 side, although it is not impossible he will be recalled before the season's end.

As part of the deal to bring Adam Hose to Warwickshire this season, it was agreed he would not play against Somerset. With both Somerset and Warwickshire having qualified for the T20 quarter-finals, they could well meet on Finals Day when Bell would be the obvious option to replace Hose.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire have made an approach for Durham's T20 captain Paul Coughlin. Coughlin has developed into a crucial player for Durham but, given their parlous financial state and lowly position in the Division Two table, a further exodus of players from the club is a distinct possibility.