England v West Indies: Ian Bell has sympathy for paying supporters

Ian Bell says he has sympathy for England's fans after their three frontline bowlers are rested for the final ODI against West Indies

ian bell
Ian Bell: Has sympathy for England fans Photo: FatMandy, via Flickr

ian bell

Ian Bell admits he has sympathy for England’s paying supporters, with Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann all rested for the final one-day international against West Indies on Friday.

The issue of squad rotation first came to the fore this summer when James Anderson was left out of England’s squad for the final Test in their series whitewash over West Indies.

The debate has since rumbled on, with the three bowlers set to miss the final ODI at Headingly Carnegie – and Bell says he has “some sympathy” for the fans paying to see an under-strength England attempt to complete a 3-0 series win.

“Of course, I have some sympathy,” said Bell. “It has slightly weakened our attack, but I still think it is a team that can go out and beat West Indies.

“There’s no doubt people want to come to see the Broads, Andersons and Bresnans. But they will be seeing young, exciting guys who will be big players for England over the next few years.”

But the 30-year-old, who was called into the ODI squad following Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from limited-overs cricket, admitted that squad rotation is necessary to ensure their best players are fresh for a demanding summer of cricket.

“There’s a heavy schedule coming up,” he added. “We need to look after these guys.

“The key to our success in one-day cricket is having five out-and-out world-class bowlers. So if we want to beat the Australians, we want these guys fit and fresh and ready to go. For the three guys who play in all three forms of the game … it’s going to be crucial.”

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