Cricket: English plans disrupted by Ian Bell injury
England’s plans were thrown into disarray before the post-Kevin Pietersen era has even begun when Ian Bell edged a ball into his face in practice yesterday. Earmarked to replace Pietersen, Bell was just about the last person England needed to suffer an injury scare before the NatWest Series against the West Indies.
An attempted pull-shot went awry and resulted in a deep gash to his chin, a dash to hospital for stitches and a check on whether his jaw might be broken. The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed later that he has suffered a possible non-displaced fracture to his jaw, but he has not yet been ruled out of the match.
When Bell returned to the ground, a collective sense of relief appeared to accompany him.
England were forced to consider their options with captain Alastair Cook’s Essex team-mate Ravi Bopara the likely replacement.
“We will have to play it by ear, If Ian’s unfit then, of course, we’d have to change – that’s why you’ve got a squad” said Cook.
Cook’s opposite number Darren Sammy had mixed feelings about Bell’s friendly-fire injury.
“I don’t think any cricketer wants to see anybody get injured,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for him. But we just have to focus on what we need to do to win the series.” West Indies’ gameplan is a simple one with their regiment of big hitters and multiple bowling options.
For England, a voyage of discovery is about to begin as they work out what to do post- Pietersen.
“We have won games before without Kevin Pietersen and it is time to move on” said Cook.
Pietersen’s retirement shocked the world of cricket, including his ODI captain.
“It came as a surprise, because he was playing so well, but when he makes a decision he makes a decision.
“Yes it’s disappointing, but we move on and replace him.”
In Bell, who made his only ODI hundred at this ground in 108 matches to date, Cook is confident the right man will be in situ – in the medium if not yet for sure the immediate term.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North