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England drop Bell for South Africa tour

19 November 2015, 14:56

Dubai - England have dropped under-performing batsman Ian Bell from their squad for the forthcoming tour of South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday.

With 7,727 runs, Bell is the eighth-highest Test scorer in England's history, but the 33-year-old has struggled for form of late and has scored only one Test century since July 2014.

Batsmen Nick Compton and Gary Ballance both earn recalls, but Adil Rashid drops out, leaving Moeen Ali and Samit Patel as England's frontline spinners.

"Ian Bell has been an outstanding player for many years and undoubtedly still has plenty to offer England in the future," national selector James Whitaker said in a statement on the ECB website.

"It was clearly a difficult decision, but he has struggled for runs in recent series and we felt that it was the right time for him to take a break and spend time working on his game out of the spotlight."

England arrive in South Africa on December 11 and are due to play four Test matches, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals between late December and late February.

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Mikel: I respect Conte's decisions

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