Ian Bell will return to the crease in charity game this Sunday in memory of former Warwickshire coach Neal Abberley.
The England batsman fractured his toe earlier this month and was ruled out for the last ODI against India and missed the Royal London One-Day Cup final at Lord’s but he is ready to gently ease back into the game after being selected in the England squad to travel to face Sri Lanka next month.
However, Bell is back in action this weekend and he explains the reason behind the charity event.
“The Neal Abberley Cup started three years ago. Neale was somebody who brought so many players through the Warwickshire youth system and we have had so many players that have been successful over the years. He coached plenty of players from the age of 11 all the way through,” The England man said of his former tutor.
“It started off as a memorial game for him at his club which is Knowle and Dorridge but also we have the opportunity to raise some good money and an added bonus for this year is the money is going back into the Warwickshire youth development programme. Neale was a massive part of this so to help finance the academy through a game in memory of him is fantastic.”
There are a number of big name splaying the game with Bell captaining an all-star team against former Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton and his Bears XI.
“Moeen Ali is playing, David Sakar is coming down to play, the actor Colin Salmon, and a number of ex and current Warwickshire players are involved, including the director of cricket Dougie Brown,” Bell revealed.
“There are a number of people who are coming to support which is a great, a couple of Aston Villa legends Gary Shaw and Nigel Spink are playing and some good local characters too. The theme is Warwickshire and to try and arrange as much money as possible and allowing supporters to get close to the team and meet the players that have done so well for the team this year.
“The NatWest T20 Blast trophy is coming along too so people can get a picture with that, it should be a great day for fans to get close to their heroes.”
The club, based in Solihull in the West Midlands gets the action started at 1pm on Sunday with each side batting for 30-overs each.
“Hopefully I won’t have to face too many Yorkers!
“It should be a little bit friendlier than what I’m used to but I’m looking forward to getting out there, having a bat and have a good time because that’s what it’s all about. The money we raised is going to help bring more players through.”
For more details on the all-star game click HERE.