Ian Bell and Andy Flower back Steven Davies’ decision
Ian Bell and Andy Flower back England wicketkeeper Steven Davies' decision to announce he is gay
Ian Bell has voiced his support for England wicketkeeper Steven Davies after he became the first international cricketer to announce he is gay earlier this week.
Davies said it was a “massive relief” to have come out but Bell, who like the rest of his England team-mates were told by the 24-year-old last year, insists it had no effect whatsoever on the team.
“We knew before the Ashes series,” said Bell. “That didn’t change anything for us. He is a very popular guy in our team. We are all with him.
“As a guy, he is a fantastic cricketer – and that is what we see him as. He is a very talented cricketer and the more he plays for England the better.
“I can’t speak for other teams and other sports – but for us as a group, it didn’t affect anything for Steve or any of the other lads.
“It helped him by speaking to the guys, and we just got on with it. We all supported him through the tour – which could have been very difficult.”
Davies was a member of the record-breaking England squad who successfully retained the Ashes in Australia in January but failed to make the cut for the World Cup squad.
But head coach Andy Flower believes Davies will play an instrumental part in England’s cricketing future.
“I would like to make it very clear that Steve is first and foremost a very talented cricketer and a valued member of the England set-up,” said Flower.
“His private life is his own concern and has absolutely no bearing on his ability to excel at the very highest level of international sport.”