It is more than five years since Ian Bell played Second XI Championship cricket but such is his desire for a match that he will join Warwickshire's second string against Leicestershire over the next three days.
Bell has batted only twice in two months in first-class cricket. Though his scores in the one-day match against Derbyshire and in the Championship against Nottinghamshire suggest there is nothing seriously wrong with his batting, the player is keen to spend time in the middle.
In particular, he has tended to get stuck in the crease, neither forward nor back, prodding at balls outside off-stump that he would normally leave well alone. The confidence borne of time batting will surely fix such an issue.
Some players on central contracts might bridle at the thought of stepping down to the county second team. Not Bell. Even during his prolific summer of 2004, he chose to play in a Second XI Trophy (one-day) match and it says much for his commitment to improve and work at his game that he was keen to play at Grace Road this week.
It should not be interpreted as a sign that he is facing a crisis of form or confidence. He is only 24 and those who dismiss his international future do so at their peril.
Only one of Bell's teammates from his previous Second XI Championship appearance (May 9-11, 2001, against Somerset at Taunton) will take the field with him today. Ian Westwood, who has been a mainstay of the senior Championship side this summer, also takes the opportunity to rediscover his form at a lower level.
Judging by his improved showing against Hampshire, he is well on the road to recovery.
The visiting XI's batting is unusually strong. Michael Powell, who is struggling to convert stubborn resistance into big scores in the first team, captains the side while Moeen Ali will be aiming to push his case for a senior recall.
However, Mark Wagh withdrew from the match last night as his calf injury requires a little longer to heal. Although the main reason why so many first-teamers are included is to help them find form, it should also improve the Seconds' dismal record over the past year. Warwickshire have not won a Second XI Championship match since April 2005.