County Championship 2022 – Ian Bell joins Derbyshire as consultant batting coach

County Championship 2022 - Ian Bell joins Derbyshire as consultant batting coach
Derbyshire hope that the appointment of Ian Bell as a batting consultant will help their misfiring lineup start the 2022 County Championship season on the right note.

Bell, who retired from professional cricket at the end of the truncated 2020 season, has been involved with several short-form sides in the early stages of his coaching career, including England Under-19s, Hobart Hurricanes, Birmingham Phoenix and Chennai Braves in the Abu Dhabi T10.

He will now add two months with Derbyshire’s red-ball side to his CV, working under new head coach Mickey Arthur and replacing Mal Loye who has left his role as one of the club’s assistant coaches.

“As a young coach, the opportunity to learn from one of the biggest names in the game was massive,” Bell said. “Mickey has big plans for the future of Derbyshire, and I’m really excited to be part of it for the next couple of months.”

Bell had his first training session with the squad on Tuesday and insisted that there was “a lot of talent” in the squad. However, the club’s batting was a major problem in the County Championship last season, as they narrowly avoided the wooden spoon. Only two batters in the squad finished the Championship season with an average above 35 and both of them – Matt Critchley (Essex) and Harvey Hosein (retired due to repeated concussions) – have left the club over the winter.

They have brought in Shan Masood, the Pakistan opener, who is set to make his debut against Middlesex at Lord’s on Thursday over the winter, while Billy Godleman, Wayne Madsen, Leus du Plooy and Luis Reece will expect to improve on underwhelming returns last season.

“There’s a lot of talent there,” Bell said. “Now, it’s about making sure that it’s always on show across all formats. Between them, our batters have more than 100 all-formats centuries and there’s the ability to make big scores. My job is to help them to continue progressing and perform at their best.”

“As a player, Ian had a career which any batter would be proud of, and it will be a great opportunity for our players to learn from him and develop under his coaching,” Arthur added. “Last season, the batting was an aspect of the squad’s game that needed to improve, so Ian’s arrival gives us a real boost, he has considerable international experience and that will help us continue to drive the standards we’ve set for the team.”

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