Ashes star player an Bell is inspiring a new generation of young cricketers on and off the pitch, according to his Warwickshire boss.
The Bears batsman has been England’s man of the series thus far, helping his team to a lead over Australia with three vital century innings.
Colin Povey, chief executive of Warwickshire CCC, praised the 31-year-old, saying he was always on hand to encourage young cricketers when he is back in Birmingham.
Mr Povey was speaking ahead of a major weekend at Edgbaston, which is hosting the Twenty20 finals – cricket’s equivalent of the FA Cup Final – on Saturday.
Speaking of Bell, he said: “You forget how good he really is. He is still only 31 and has 20 Test Match hundreds.
“He came through the ranks here. He’s gone from being a young, freckle-faced, 10-year-old getting included for the first time to a genuinely a class player. He is always a joy to watch, and the other thing is he has always been tremendously loyal to Warwickshire.
“He has been playing for England for a long time now, but has always been around whenever he can to help here, and turns up to the end-of-season dinners for all age groups.
“He is always first on the phone when it comes to supporting anything. He remembers his roots.”
Bell has managed three hundreds in the Ashes series.
In doing so, he has written his name into the history books, as only the third England batsman to score three centuries in a home Ashes series, after Maurice Leyland in 1934 and David Gower in 1985.
Meanwhile, he remains a one-club man, and last year signed a new three-year contract with Warwickshire extending his stay at the club at least till 2015.
While he has a central contract to play for England, Mr Povey said he hoped Bell, along with fellow England batsman Jonathan Trott, would return to the Bears to end his career in style when the time comes.
He said: “We want these guys to be playing for England and being successful.
“We need to have guys of that calibre coming through, and spending three or four years with us before getting a central contract with England, and then hopefully people like Bell and Trotty will have three or four years as top cricketers with us after they have finished playing for England.
“If you have got someone like Ian or Trotty or Chris Woakes then you want them inspiring the kids to go on to have the success they have achieved, or just to get kids involved with cricket.”