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February 12, 2014
Paul Collingwood's reputation as one of the coming men in England's coaching ranks has grown with the announcement that he will join England's coaching staff for the forthcoming tour to the Caribbean and the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Collingwood's energy and ability to draw the maximum potential from players has been suggested twice in recent months. Firstly, he led Durham to the Championship as captain during a traumatic time in which their director of cricket Geoff Cook was recovering from a heart attack. Then he made a success of a short-term coaching assignment with Scotland by guiding them to the World Cup finals.
If Collingwood might not be so much of a coming man that he is regarded quite yet as an irresistible contender for the role of England team director, vacated by Andy Flower at the end of the Ashes series, his appointment identifies him as a potential England coach of the future.
Collingwood will effectively replace Richard Halsall as the assistant coach with a specific responsibility for fielding. The decision follows England's shoddy fielding performances in Australia which failed to retain the early excellence shown during Halsall's tenure.
This is also is likely to be a highly popular appointment as England seek to regain equilibrium after a disastrous Ashes tour and the controversial hatchet job on Kevin Pietersen. Collingwood is increasingly seen as an excellent dressing room man manager, optimistic, able to work with all types and a shrewd judge of character, which are precisely the sort of qualities England need after their implosion in Australia.
Collingwood will join England on a short-term secondment from Durham, where he remains captain and where he is fully expected to fulfil his playing role this season. His decision to continue his first-class career after retiring from international cricket, which was by no means a given, was an immediate boost for the county game. Increasingly, it is beginning to look like a great career move. It has provided him with a chance to underline his leadership skills.
Ashley Giles, the England Limited Overs Coach, added: "Colly will add great energy and a winning T20 pedigree to the tour party. We are really looking forward to his involvement."
Paul Downton, Managing Director England cricket, said: "I am delighted that Paul has agreed to join the England coaching staff for the trips to the West Indies and Bangladesh. He was an outstanding performer for England and proved himself to be a successful captain in Twenty20 cricket and the county game. We are looking forward to the enthusiastic approach Paul brings to all the teams that he has been involved with over the years.
"More recently he has also demonstrated his growing coaching potential by helping mastermind Scotland's victory in the ICC World Cup qualifier in New Zealand - a result which guaranteed Scotland a place in the ICC World Cup finals for the first time since 2007.''
The ECB has managed to arrest a fortnight in which it has been widely pilloried by making two popular appointments in a single day. In both Collingwood and Angus Fraser, who has been named as a selector, they have identified roles for two of the most popular and grounded figures in the English game.
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