Ian Bell replaces Varun Chopra as Warwickshire captain

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England still a big ambition - Bell

Ian Bell has been named Warwickshire captain for the 2016 season, replacing opener Varun Chopra, who has stepped down to concentrate on his batting.

After 118 Tests for England, Bell, 33, was dropped for the current tour of South Africa after a poor run of form.

He said his appointment does not affect his "overwhelming desire and ambition" to win back his England Test place.

"Absolutely not. I have massive England ambitions. I've made it very clear I want to get back in," he said.

"But to get the phone call and be asked to be Warwickshire captain was a real honour.

"There have been some fantastic Warwickshire captains in the past. The responsibility is huge," Bell told BBC Midlands Today.

"At the start of the season it looks like I'll be around a lot and it's important not to think about England too much, but the club are very supportive of me getting back in the England side."

Bell, who has stood in as Warwickshire skipper in the past, leading them to victory in the 2010 CB40 final at Lord's, has made 17,687 runs in 261 first-class matches since his debut for the Bears in 1999.

Bears director of cricket Dougie Brown added: "Ian Bell is an excellent role model, one of the most celebrated cricketers in the club's history. He has worn the Bear and Ragged Staff since the age of 10 and has played at the very highest level of the game since 2004."

Chopra, who became skipper in September 2014, wants to focus on his batting after averaging 27.41 in first-class cricket in 2015.

Warwickshire finished fifth in Division One of the County Championship last season, reaching the semi-finals of the T20 Blast, while failing to make it out of their group in the One-Day Cup.

Chopra stood down on the same day as Marcus Trescothick resigned as Somerset captain.

Ian Bell tweet

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