Bell ready to risk England place for birth of first child
Ian Bell will put his family first and his place in England's Test side second when he flies home for the birth of his first child. Bell will leave his teammates behind in India after the first Test in Ahmedabad, and will miss the second match of four in Mumbai
The key middle-order batsman accepts he may be giving others a chance to replace him for more than one Test — but that is a risk he is prepared to take, to be where he knows he should.
Bell will travel immediately after the conclusion of the first Test and is scheduled to return to the tour five days before the third match in Kolkata.
“I had a really good chat with (team director) Andy (Flower) in the summer, and he was really supportive about me going home,” he said.
The 30-year-old faces significant challenges on the pitch this winter, having fallen slightly short this year of the prolific standards he set throughout 2011, and with a point to prove that he can be as effective in the sub-Continent as he is elsewhere. He expects to regain his place when he returns from his fatherly duties, but will not be taking that for granted.
“I’d like to think so,” he said. “Andy was really supportive and keen for me to go home but disappointed I will not be around.
“If we win the Test that I miss and something happens, I will have to fight like hell to get my place back. That’s the risk you take.
“But it is the most exciting part of my life, and I am willing to do that.”