Ian Bell says England must move on after a difficult week which saw Peter Moores removed from his role as Head Coach and Kevin Pietersen told he is not part of England’s immediate plans.
Bell spoke to ecb.co.uk after facing the media at the Investec Test Series launch where, despite Nasser Hussain’s best efforts in his role as MC, attention was fixed on Pietersen.
“He was a fantastic player,” said Bell. “One of the best I have played with.
“But we need to focus on the cricket. There is a lot of noise going on but the most important thing right now is the result at Lord’s and we need to remember that.
“You have to deal with a lot of off-field stuff at this level. We need to focus on the cricket and forget all of that.
“When you cross the line you need to be able to do the simple things well which in my case is executing my skills and scoring runs.”
Bell insisted that Pietersen’s exclusion from the team has not been a distraction for a side who, had they won in Barbados, would have begun next week’s series with five victories in their previous six Tests.
“The team have dealt with it quite well,” he said. “Unfortunately it keeps getting dragged back in.
“We haven’t spoken about Kevin in the dressing room. We have been concentrating on getting on with the hard work.
England will arrive at Lord’s next week under the stewardship of Paul Farbrace who takes over in an interim capacity following the departure of Moores.
“It was disappointing to lose the head coach,” said Bell.
“We have all enjoyed working with him but it’s been tough in terms of results.
“I don’t think we could have done any more in terms of preparation. We always train really hard.
“A strong decision was made and we now need to move on and make sure we start on a high against New Zealand.
“I don’t think things will change that much with Paul in charge. We all have a good relationship with him.
“Until a coach is appointed the senior players, including myself, have to help Paul and Cookie (Test captain Alastair Cook) out. “
The pair won three Ashes Series together, two when Strauss was captain.
“Strauss is the arguably the best captain I played under,” said Bell. “He was a great man to look up to in everything he did, both on and off the field. I have a lot of respect for him and have no doubt he will do a great job.”
Despite a tough week, Bell is in no doubt that a thrilling summer awaits with Australia arriving later in the summer to defend the Ashes.
“We could not have asked for a better summer – two World Cup finalists coming here. It’s a great opportunity for us to do something special.”
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