Bell blow threatens England plans
Jun 15 2012 - 18:49:09
England faced an anxious wait to discover if Ian Bell will be able to take Kevin Pietersen's place as a one-day opener after the Warwickshire batsman suffered a freak injury here on Friday.
England, reeling from Pietersen's shock limited overs retirement, start one-day life without the South Africa-born batsman in the first of a three-match series against the West Indies on Saturday.
But the eve of the game saw Bell top-edge a pull into his face during routine throw-downs in the Rose Bowl indoor nets from fielding coach Richard Halsall.
The Warwickshire batsman suffered a gash to his chin and was taken to hospital where 10 stitches were inserted into the wound.
An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement later Friday said Bell had suffered a possible non-displaced fracture of the jaw but had not been ruled out of the game, adding a decision on his fitness would be taken on Saturday before the toss.
Bell has only just been recalled to the England one-day squad after missing the series against Pakistan where Pietersen finished his international one-day career with back-to-back hundreds.
England one-day captain Alastair Cook was coy on the identity of his new opening partner in the event Bell was ruled out although the skipper's Essex team-mate Ravi Bopara could be promoted from his likely number four berth.
"Ian Bell got hit in the nets today and has got a gash on his chin," Cook said Friday.
"It is a concern, because he didn't look in a good way when he walked off.
"There was quite a lot of blood, and he has had stitches."
"We will have to play it by ear," added Cook of Bell's possible replacement.
"Ian top-edged a pull into his chin. If he's unfit then, of course, we'd have to change - and that's why you've got a squad.
"Emergencies can come up in any game. I remember Matt Prior getting hurt on the morning of the Test at Headingley in 2009. You have to have a squad for those circumstances.
"We're just waiting to see what we'll do if Belly is ruled out."