Coach, Movie Star or Firefighter: What’s Next for Ian Bell?
Updated: May 17
The end of an era.
The last of the 2005 Ashes heroes, Ian Bell, is calling time on a glorious cricketing career. Up until a week ago, Bell was the only active player who also played in the great 2005 Ashes Series. The only younger player in that series was Shaun Tait who retired back in 2017.
As we reminisce about those elegant cover drives which became synonymous with the name Ian Bell, we also wonder what could be next for this legend of English Cricket.
With that in mind, I thought I’d go through and see what retirement has brought for the rest of the alumni of that Ashes series to give Belly some ideas:
Alumni: Ashley Giles, Justin Langer, Marcus Trescothick, Paul Collingwood, Jason Gillespie, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich
Pros: It’s a well trodden path for players to stick with what they know best. Keeps your hand in the game and in the dressing room. The only thing that changes is you are the one with the stop watch rather than running the beep test.
Cons: You’ve spent over 20 years in around professional dressing rooms. You’ve been there since you were a kid, why not try something a little bit out of your comfort zone.
Alumni: Shane Warne, Michael Vaughan, Glenn McGrath, Kevin Pietersen, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden
Pros: Show yourself off to the world, show them you have personality, that cricket wasn’t the only thing you were good at. You’re still in that safe bubble of ex-pros but now you’re learning a new skill, assessing the game.
Cons: You might accidentally show the world that you’re actually quite a weird bloke and/or people find you speaking at best annoying at worst nauseating.
Alumni: Brett Lee
Pros: You’re used to being watched by billions of fans round the world so it should come naturally.
Cons: You’re whole life thus far has been built round a sport that has little call for acting beyond an over-enthusiastic appeal and you might score sub 40% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Alumni: Andrew Strauss, Ashley Giles, Michael Kasprowicz
Pros: Stick to the game you know but try and change and improve things that you never had the opportunity to during your career.
Cons: You constantly have to make unpopular decisions.
Alumni: Andrew Flintoff
Pros: You were a showman in your career, if you have the charisma and chat out on the field, just take it to a BBC One Car Magazine Show? Start off in the jungle, build your brand, become a regular team member on a popular Friday night sports quiz show and then, easy as you like, you’re a presenter on Top Gear.
Cons: You need to have a certain level of likeability to make it or you’ll get shunned (Chris Evans).
Alumni: Steve Harmison (Football), Shane Warne (Poker) Pros: You know what it’s like to be an elite sportsman, why not take that knowledge and test it at a different sport?
Cons: Realistically your only involvement with other sports in the last 20 years has been through your TV or at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Alumni: Geraint Jones Pros: People loved you before and you were just catching a ball, now you’re out there saving lives, what a legend! Cons: Bloody Dangerous.