“We never really liked Ian Bell,” says Justin Langer after signing him for Perth Scorchers
The relationship between Australian and English cricketers is well known to the cricketing world. Emotions fly high when these two arch rivals meet on the field and the past has witnessed several instances which prove that the match between these two great cricket teams is one of the most high-voltage clashes.
And one such incident was witnessed during the second Test of the 2006-07 Ashes series when Australian spinner Shane Warne verbally attacked English batsman Ian Bell in such a way that it has now become a part of sledging folklore. Known for his sledging, Warne was heard calling Bell ‘The Shermanator’, a reference to a red-haired geeky character in the 1999 hit film American Pie.
Another Australian player involved in that infamous incident was their former opener Justin Langer, who is all set to coach Bell during the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) after the Perth Scorchers announced the England batsman as their second international signing on Tuesday (August 30).
Commenting on that incident, Langer said:”The players you don’t like the most….it’s (actually) a great compliment. We never really liked Ian Bell much and as Aussies, we can’t give a greater compliment because he was always tough and tough to get out….so it’s nice he is in our team.
“We had some real ding-dong battles at the time with Ian Bell….Paul Collingwood….James Anderson,” he added. “It would be nice to be friends with him instead of rivals.”
While Bell, a veteran of 118 Tests and 161 ODIs, is not tailor-made for the T20 format, Langer believed that his vast experience will play an important role for his team as they are set to miss several veterans due to international duties.
“He was really well known as a Test and ODI player with limited T20 exposure but we couldn’t go past his experience,” Langer said. “(Important) to have someone like that who is still a gun fieldsman and is hungry to get back into the England side.
“We will probably lose Shaun Marsh, (Adam) Voges and Mitch Marsh (to international cricket),” Langer added. “His (Bell’s) experience with Michael Klinger at the top of the order is like gold, and he will be a great mentor for our younger players.”
The Scorchers will open their 2016-17 campaign against Adelaide Strikers on December 23.
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