Ian Bell says losing his England place “hurt like hell” and is determined to win it back by scoring big runs for Warwickshire.
After scoring an unbeaten 84 on the opening day of the LV County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton, Bell talked of his frustration at having to be a spectator for the final two months of England’s tour to West Indies.
He said: “It’s two months since I have played in a competitive game, so I was raring to go today. Getting out and playing some cricket was what I really needed.
“I haven’t been short of nets over the two months and I knew I was hitting the ball well. Hopefully, I can get out there tomorrow and go on and on.
“It has been frustrating and there is no one more hurt than me at losing my place in the England team. I’m desperate to get it back, but I don’t want to think about it too much.”
The batsman, who saw Middlesex’s Owais Shah promoted into the England line-up in his place, continued: “I just want to get out and score as many runs as I can for Warwickshire and leave all the thinking and decisions up to the England selectors.
“That’s the way I feel I must go about it – just enjoy my cricket as much as I can. It hurts not to be in the England team and especially when you are on tour and have to watch the other guys.
“To be left out of a team that you have been involved with for four years hurts like hell. You are just desperate to get back. Sometimes, you take playing for England for granted and when you look at it from the outside, you realise how much it means.
“For me, it wasn’t like being dropped in the summer when you can go back to your county and score runs. It meant a lot of sitting around and watching.
“You want the team to win, but it’s hard not to be disappointed.”