Ian Bell ‘in frame’ for England national selector gig as Rob Key prepares to restore role

Former England batter Ian Bell has reportedly emerged as a contender to become Test national selector, with new Managing Director of Men’s Cricket Rob Key set to restore a role that his predecessor Ashley Giles scrapped.

Bell played a total of 118 Test matches for England, scoring 7,727 at an average of 42.69, and only retired from playing two years ago. Since hanging up his boots, Bell has moved into coaching, enjoying spells with the England Under-19s, Birmingham Phoenix, Hobart Hurricanes and Derbyshire.

The 40-year-old recently outlined his ambitions to coach in international cricket, but a report from the Daily Mail claims he could become England’s new Test national selector. England abolished the role last year, with Giles axing Ed Smith and giving then head coach Chris Silverwood control of selection.

However, Key has confirmed he will restore the role and is planning to appoint two separate national selectors, having already opted for separate coaches in red and white ball cricket. And the Mail state that Bell is ‘on Key’s wishlist for the Test role’.

Speaking on ‘The Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club’ podcast, Key outlined his vision for the national selector job. “You probably, at some point, need two,” he said.

“The head selectors’ job is arguably one of the most important ones because you can have all this vision, all this philosophy, all the coaches, but if you have a selector who picks a bunch of numpties then you’ve got no chance have you really?

Managing Director of Men's Cricket Rob Key

Managing Director of Men’s Cricket Rob Key
Clive Rose/Getty Images)

“But that’s a tough job. It’s a challenging job, but it’s such an important job that I don’t want to rush to do it.

“We’re working fine up to a point where I can effectively chair that meeting. I can deliver the message to the media.

“You basically don’t want bad decisions to be made. But it’s a full-time role. So we need to get someone in.”

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