It would be fair to say England star Ian Bell has found a new found fame over recent months after the batsman produced stunning form on his way to winning the Man of the Series in the 3-0 Ashes this summer.
The 31-year-old punished the Australian attack all around the country, hitting three tons and one half century which has seen his public presence grow remarkably.
Bell has appeared on live TV shows while has had interest on his family holiday and even attended the Pride of Britain awards with his wife Chantal which included a walk down the red carpet.
The Warwickshire man has also increased his activity on social networking site Facebook which has flown past 100,000 fans while he has recently joined Twitter. He is currently just over 40,000 followers where he also posts unique content to his supporters around the world.
Just hours ago Bell thanked all of his Facebook fans for his support along with a picture of his official page which showed he now has over 108k ‘likes’ and he told his supporters: “Just realised I've gone past 100,000 likes on Facebook just days ahead of the #Ashes thanks so much for all the support and lovely messages!”
With the 13/14 series starting on Thursday it is clear he is fully focussed on the job at hand at retaining the Ashes to make it four in a row which would be the first time England have achieved the feat since 1890.
When exclusively questioned by GiveMeSport on his new celebrity status the modest Bell says that doesn’t concern him.
“It’s been really nice, the key for me is to always let the cricket do the talking.
“If you’re playing well then those things will come and if you make sure cricket comes first by being in the nets, doing gym work and if we can go ahead and win this Ashes series it will be an amazing 12 months for English cricket and that’s what we are targeting, to do something special.”
Bell has done some work to help his profile too, through the form of social media he has started to engage with his supporters all around the world and sharing personal photos, much to the delight of his fans as can be seen on his Facebook page.
The two main social media platforms are slightly out of the 31-year-olds comfort zone but he says it is something he’s enjoying
“It’s going alright actually along with my Facebook site that’s growing really well too having just passed 100,000 after increasing my activity on there. It is a little bit out of my bubble I suppose but I think it’s careful to look after it at the right times and stay away from it when the cricket is on if I can. I’m trying to do the right things and its fun," Bell claimed to GiveMeSport.
“With that two month window of time off I thought it was a good time to have a dabble with social media and I listened to a couple of the guys about the pros and cons to it and I’m going to manage it the right way.
“It’s just really nice to have some interaction with the people supporting English cricket.”