Ian Bell for England – good or bad?

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Knowing our depth of feeling about Ian Bell, you must be desperate to read how we’re going to cover the news that he’s likely to replace Kevin Pietersen for the rest of the Ashes. It’s heated debate like what follows that makes the cricket world tick.

Angry that Ian Bell’s back?

You are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Ian Bell being back is not remotely a bad thing.

Happy that Ian Bell’s back?

You are massively, massively wrong. You couldn’t be more wrong if you were angry that he was back. You wouldn’t be less wrong either. You’d be exactly as wrong. Those two diametrically opposed opinions are precisely equal in their wrongness.

So how should I feel?

You shouldn’t feel anything at all. Imagine you’re arriving at work on a Tuesday morning and looking into the faces of your colleagues. You should feel numb like that.

You should feel that same level of cold emotionless that you’ve developed as a coping mechanism for dealing with the empty pointlessness of your mundane life.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Did you hear Rob Key on Radio 4 this morning? Arlo White interviewed him about his chances of taking KP’s spot in the team. He said that if he was a selector, he would pick Rob Key, but he thought they would go for Ian Bell (he didn’t actually say this last bit, but you could hear it in his voice).

    So Rob Key is on the verge of resuming his England test career. I just wonder, KC, if you are now able to maintain your numbness about Ian Bell, given that if he does get in he will be taking Rob Key’s place.

  2. Both pants, why not choose a young player without tabs on himself as regards test cricket?

  3. We suspect Rob’s still on a high after his 270 not out.

    We have a legitimate claim to being his biggest fan, but even we don’t think he’s *currently* got a strong enough case.

    He is definitely the kind of cricketer who could cope with Test cricket and the Ashes in particular, but two hundreds and no fifties in nine first class innings in the second division is not something that will win the selectors over.

  4. If Rob Key does not have a strong case, does that mean the chap they’ve picked does have strong case? Personally I think his case is neither strong nor weak.

    It’s that ginger bloke from Warwickshire, I think.

  5. It’s ethnic nepotism – Flower is going to gradually bring in as many short ginger/strawberry blonde players as he can to produce an army of his clones.
    If Key fell into this ethnic group he would be a shoe-in.

  6. Trott 184*, Bell 7 against the Mighty Hampshire – if you wanted someone feeling good and ready to give it a go I know who I’d choose – but we are saddled with the lovely Belly. Trott would have been a direct Saffer for Saffer substitution too.

    And if Bopara does not snap out of it soon Key should be flown in – his public needs him!

  7. If Key’s form in Div 2 is no good towards his England credentials, what’s Bopara from Div 2 jobbers Essex doing there?

  8. on the off chance england want to win the ashes… and assuming graeme hick doesn’t fancy a game… how about someone picks up the phone and gives Marcus Trescothick a quick call?

  9. I have heard it on the very best authority (can’t quite remember where) that Geoffrey Boycott’s mum could make plenty of runs against this bunch of Aussie bowlers wielding nothing more hostile than a stick of rhubarb.

    Is Mrs Boycott Senior available for selection by any chance?

  10. Ged if you guys do that I’m sure the ACB would respond by flying over Mitchell Johnsons mum.

    Be afraid, be VERY afraid.

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