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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 16:10 GMT
Bell scoops ICC emerging accolade
Ian Bell
Bell has impressed in both Test and one-day cricket for England
England's Ian Bell has been named as the International Cricket Council emerging player of the year at the annual awards ceremony in Mumbai.

The 24-year-old Warwickshire batsman beat teammates Alastair Cook and Monty Panesar plus banned Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif to the coveted title.

Bell scored four centuries between 1 August 2005 - 8 August 2006, the period in which the accolades are decided.

Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene beat Michael Vaughan to the captaincy award.

England did, however, win the spirit of cricket prize for the second year in succession.

Bell overcame a difficult Ashes series in England, in which he bagged a pair in the final Test, to become a regular in the side, scoring a century and two fifties in the winter series against Pakistan.

He is a fine player and seems to be growing in confidence every time he goes out into the middle

ICC chief Malcolm Speed

He then notched three centuries in four innings against the same opposition in the home series last summer.

Bell has also established himself in the one-day side, opening the batting in the recent Champions Trophy and scoring five half-centuries in the last year.

The modest Bell paid tribute to his England colleagues after learning the news on the day he left for Australia to compete in the Ashes series.

"It is a massive honour for me to win this award and I would just really like to say thank you to everyone in England for helping me to get this far," he said.

"My team-mates have been great over the past year - it has been really good fun to play with them. We have a tough task coming up but I couldn't think of a better bunch of guys to be going to Australia with."

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed added his appreciations of Bell, who made his international debut against West Indies in August 2004.

"For some players it can take a long time to get used to life at the top level but Ian has done very well in a short space of time and he clearly has a very exciting career ahead of him," Speed remarked.

"He is a fine player and seems to be growing in confidence every time he goes out into the middle."

Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar chaired a panel to decide the ICC Test and one-day "dream teams", with Andrew Flintoff named in both, the only Englishman to feature.

SEE ALSO
England ready for Ashes challenge
03 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
The team behind the team
03 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
England in Australia 2006/07
15 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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