Birmingham Bears have secured the long-term future of Club Captain Ian Bell, who has signed a three-year contract extension to commit until at least the end of the 2020 season.
Bell (34) is the most capped international cricketer in Bears history, having made his Test match debut for England against the West Indies in 2004 and subsequently winning 118 Test matches, 161 One-Day Internationals and eight International T20 caps.
He is one of only three English cricketers to have won five Ashes series and has won six domestic trophies to date with the Club, including captaining Warwickshire to glory in the Royal London One-Day Cup last summer in his first season as skipper.
Ashley Giles, Sport Director at Warwickshire CCC, said: “Ian is a true Bear who has been with Warwickshire since the age of 10 and has gone on to be one of the most decorated players in the club’s history.
“He continues to be one of the leading batsmen in the country across all three formats and, as our captain, he sets exceptionally high standards for the rest of the squad.
“With several young cricketers having recently graduated from the academy to senior ranks, Ian is the perfect leader for them to follow. We’re delighted that he has signed this new long-term contract and will continue to be a proud Bear for many years to come.”
Bell has now scored 18,533 runs in First Class cricket – including 51 centuries – and spent last winter playing in Big Bash in Australia, where he helped Perth Scorchers to a third title.
Ian Bell, said: “Warwickshire is the only county that I’ve ever wanted to play for and I’m thrilled to sign this new long-term contract to remain a proud Bear and help the team to push for even more silverware.
“The club has played a huge role in my career and it’s a great honour to now captain the team and help our young, talented players fulfil their potential here at Edgbaston.”
Birmingham Bears start the NatWest T20 Blast season away to local rivals Worcestershire Rapids on Friday 7 July, then return to Edgbaston the following night for the first home game against Notts Outlaws.
Under 16s Go Free
The first batch of tickets for Birmingham Bears NatWest T20 Blast games are now on-sale at the cheapest price of £15 for Adults and completely FREE for Under16s. Only a limited number of tickets are available at £15 for adults and the price will increase once these have sold out.
Click here for Match Tickets
Snap up a Season Pass
See the Birmingham Bears in all seven NatWest T20 Blast home games at Edgbaston at just £77. No two games will be the same, with exciting events planned around the cricket for every match, you’ll have a unique experience every time whilst cheering on Ian Bell and the team. Follow the Bears quest to bring the title back to Edgbaston for 2017.