'People say it must be a decision of huge symbolism for the country,' commented Geoff Miller, 'but we don't shirk that responsibility. Ian's presence in the side sends a message of hope to all of those young kids who aspire one day to hold a central contract. Moving him up and down the batting order until he finally gets some runs says, 'once you sign that contract, you will not be dropped'. Ian represents that significant minority of Test batsman who find it hard to average 40 in this age of useless bowling and flat wickets'.
In the back of Miller's mind was no doubt the lack of public outcry when Bell was uncontroversially dropped in the West Indies last year, and later when a man who'd played one game was handed his spot at number three. 'We do have the contingency to push Ian down as far as number eight behind Swann and Broad if we have to,' Miller concluded.
Nelson Mandela sent a message to the ECB praising Miller's stand. 'It is a beacon of hope to our own country to see Bell walking out when the fourth wicket falls and there's a collapse on,' he said.