Paul Collingwood's Test retirement January 6, 2011

A man worth more than numbers

Paul Collingwood will be remembered as a cricketer who was greater than the sum of his parts
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Long after he has retired from all forms of the game, not just the five-day version from which he has stood down today, Paul Collingwood will be remembered as a cricketer who was greater than the sum of his parts. Others may have been blessed with more talent, but when it came to dedication - to his team-mates, to the cause, and to the quest for his own self-improvement - he was a man with few equals in the world game.

Perhaps nothing demonstrates this better than his contribution to England's 2010-11 Ashes campaign, a series that will be recalled as a triumph long after his own tally of 83 runs in six innings has been forgotten. Collingwood's own contributions fell short of the levels he had sought, but nevertheless his mere presence in the team was a reminder of the disciplines required to succeed at the highest level. After all, he had embodied England's ultra-professional approach long before the rest of the set-up followed suit.

Collingwood had character, and that was his defining trait. For three consecutive winters until his eventual Test debut against Sri Lanka in November 2003, he toured the world as an uncomplaining understudy, soaking up the experience and never once grumbling about his lack of opportunities. Two years later, with an Ashes to be won and a critical vacancy in England's line-up following the injury to Simon Jones, it was Colly to whom England turned, for they rightly believed he had the gumption for such a big occasion.

He made 7 and 10 in that Oval contest, figures that led Shane Warne to pour scorn on his subsequent acceptance of an MBE from Buckingham Palace, but numbers alone will never tell the full Collingwood story. He survived 72 vital minutes on that nerve-shattering final day, a period of consolidation that enabled Kevin Pietersen - one of his favourite batting partners - to turn the tables on the Aussies. And earlier in the match, he fronted up with the quickest spell of bowling of his life, and should by rights have had Justin Langer caught in the slips … but the ball reached Marcus Trescothick almost before he could react.

It's been like that all throughout his career - the fractional contributions that add up to a solid body of evidence when reviewed as a whole. The three scores of 74, 26 not out and 40 with which he helped save the Cardiff, Centurion and Cape Town Tests in 2009-10, for instance, add up to five runs fewer than the 145 that he made against Bangladesh at Chittagong back in March to register his 10th and final Test century. Even when he surpassed himself at Adelaide in 2006-07 with his brilliant 206, he was grotesquely overshadowed in the final analysis. That fact alone would not have bothered him in the slightest, but England's traumatic defeat cut him to the quick.

There is a sense in which Collingwood surprised even himself in forging such an admirable Test career - 4259 runs from 115 innings (with a very remote prospect of one last hurrah) at the steady average of 40.56. But it was his personal recognition of his limitations that compelled him to extend every facet of his talent to the max. Like Ashley Giles before him, a cricketer whom Duncan Fletcher adored for his professionalism, he had no option but to give his all in every situation, because he was not blessed with the sort of genius that could rely on inspiration alone. But in doing so, he actually made himself into an inspiration.

As a Test cricketer, he played a vital role in bringing together two eras of English cricket, to such an extent that they may, in the fullness of time, come to be recognized as a single entity. First came his role in the rise of Michael Vaughan's 2005 Ashes winners, which went beyond those efforts in the final Test at The Oval. In the preceding ODIs, in which England fought tooth and nail to claim a share of the series and serve a warning that things would be different, Collingwood's influence was immense, from the staggeringly brilliant catch in the gully to remove Matthew Hayden at Bristol, to his subsequent role in rushing to the defence of Jones, after his errant throw at Edgbaston had struck Hayden on the shoulder.

But his role in the aftermath of that Ashes victory was in many ways even more vital. In the dog days of 2006-08, when England's progress was derailed by the departures of such key players as Vaughan, Jones, Trescothick and, intermittently, Flintoff, Collingwood kept the home fires burning by forging himself a career in the middle of the Test line-up, and refusing to allow the standards around him to plummet.

At Cape Town last winter, when Ian Bell finally came of age as a Test batsman, it is no coincidence that Collingwood was there alongside him for much of his famous rearguard. A baton has been passed in the past 12 months, with the former young guns of England's team taking over as the agenda-setters - men such as Bell, Alastair Cook and James Anderson, all of whom have benefitted from the knowledge that, when all else failed, Colly would be waiting to pick up the pieces.

Even during his crowning glory at the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, Collingwood was little more than an elder statesman, calling the shots while his well-drilled team-mates did what they had been trained to do. But when, in the final at Barbados, he had the honour of hitting the winning runs against Australia, the manner in which he was pursued from the crease by his ecstatic team-mates told a tale far greater than his score of 12 not out from five balls. No-one in the team had earned the right to be triumphant quite like he had.

Likewise on this Ashes trip, Collingwood has not needed to pick up many pieces because of the excellence of the men around him in England's batting order, but that's not to say he's been a passenger in the team, far from it. His final delivery of the first innings at Sydney - and maybe even of his Test career -bowled none other than Michael Hussey, the kingpin of Australia's batting and the one player capable of posting a formidable first-innings total. Collingwood finished that innings with figures of 4-2-5-1, and the satisfaction of a job well done. His numbers, as previously mentioned, have rarely done him justice.

If there is to be a defining image of Collingwood's final Test series, however, it will surely have to be his outstanding pluck at third slip to remove Ricky Ponting at Perth. At the time it felt like the series-defining moment, with Australia reeling at 17 for 2, and so perhaps it was. Australia may have rallied to win the Test and square the series, but Ponting - crucially - could not follow suit. Had he found his form at the same time as Australia posted a win, the challenge at Melbourne would have been all the greater.

That Ponting take was one of nine catches in the series for Collingwood, the most by any outfielder on either side, but both athletically and symbolically it was the best of the lot. It told the tale of a player who would stretch to his absolute limits to do his job for the team.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY kempson94 on | January 9, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I presume all those who have made derogatory comments. have never considered the consequences of an Ashes defeat and a loss in SA, probable 3-1, that would've occured without Collingwood. His 74 was the most selfless, grittiest and greatest innings I have seen in modern times, having seen most. The ability to fight for your team and country without thought for personal gain, as the way he batted made a hundred impossible, is unmatched in the current era. Most batsmen would've looked for quick runs and to enjoy themselves in a losing cause, luckily for England Collingwood is neither like most players, nor like most people. His innings against SA showed a desire to play for England that I have not seen matched. Every success England have in the future can be linked back to Collingwood and the example he has set through his professionalism and hard work. In a team of underachievers, like Bell and Pietersen, Collingwood is both an overachiever and catalyst for future England success.

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | January 7, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    very well said Mr Miller.. Collingwood's contribution to English cricket was much more than the mere sum of the runs he scored... i have always been a bog admirer of his courage, sincerity and application to the game. He may not have been the most talented of players but he surely was the most gutsy of the lot... i rate him a better player than a certain Mr Pietersen... May success follow Colly wherever he goes !

  • POSTED BY TheBigFatFlapjack on | January 7, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    contd... anyway likes its been said already, colly was more than the sum of his parts or more than his numbers suggest. he had presence in the (fragile) english team. he was respected. he was coerced by andy flower to lead the english t20 team which they won under his leadership speaks volumes of his reputation. colly, for a great player such as u, this is all we can say and this is the lest we can give you as a farewell. hope u remain inthe limited oveers steup for a while before u decide to call it quits. rant over...

  • POSTED BY TheBigFatFlapjack on | January 7, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    i'm really, really, rally disappointed collingwood is retiring. he is my fav english cricketer and i used to always have a soft spot for him ever since he played his first game. colly was not about 'technique' or flamboyance. he was about hanging in there and giving his heart out, remaning as tough and unflinching as he can even in the darkest adversity. he was a real fighter, a real soldier. if he hadnt made it as a cricketer, i'm sure he'd have done well in any other career that requires pure grit and determination. he played with pain. he played despite all the criticism. he was always there for his team-mates and he ALWAYS stood up for them. no other cricketer would do that in this day and age. his batting skills shouldnt be underestimated in any way. i wonder how many players can average 40.56 playing in swinging english conditions, the bouncy pitches of aus and s. africa and the green tops of NZL, not to mention the subcontinent where many foreign batsmen fail. (contd)

  • POSTED BY TheBigFatFlapjack on | January 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    @drsankalp - what u said is totally mean and ridiculous mate. To say colly is a worse than the '100 better player playing first class cricket in India' is absolutely mind-bogglingly ridiculous. I'm sure if they were even a fraction as good as colly they would be regulars in the indian cricket team. and yeah, if colly was indian i'm sure he'd have been one of their best batsmen, especially abroad, their best and fastest bowler, without doubt their best fielder, their captain in all 3 formats, probably a selector, coach, role-model, mentor to young players and the face of all cricket Indian. Nuff said.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Colly inspired so many players behind the scenes. Few of us can estimate that.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    To Mark Checkley

    I think we are singing from the same Hymn-sheet: we both admire Colly after all, if for different reasons. Pax, eh?

    LGHH

  • POSTED BY calcric on | January 7, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    As a WI fan i must say that of many of the english cricketers Strauss, Cook and Collingwood are my favourite cricketer. The reason is becuase at least when i have seen them play against the WI and others whilst they have this very strong will to win it never comes across at all cost. i am sad to see Collingwood go and want to wish him all the best, he was a steely cricketer, a man with the heart that all cricketers should have. As a fieldsmans i rate him as high as jonty rhodes, and i have no doubt in my mind that Englands successes both in the ashes has been attributable to the steel spirit that he has been able to pass on to the middle order, and his ohhh so fine catching and fielding. Make no bones about it Englands victory in this ashes was not as easy as the outcomes suggest there were some nose grinding and hard work that had to be done in all of the tests. It seems that the English batting line upwith the exception of Strauss who always played freely, and pietersen in the 200

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    People continue to patronise Collingwood by saying "statistics aren't everything". Actually, if statistics ARE everything, he has a better Test batting average than Mike Atherton or Alec Stewart or Nasser Hussain, and no-one ever suggested that those people were not up to their job. And that's without the stupendous fielding, the unquantifiable dressing-room influence and the not-front-line-but-rather-more-than-part-time bowling. It would be more accurate to say that "style and appearances aren't everything" for, in an age where over-coaching tends to produce generations of batsmen who all look the same in action at the crease, Collingwood was not a textbook stylist. But PLEASE don't patronise the man by making excuses for allegedly poor statistics, because his statistics stand up very nicely alongside many of England's best.

  • POSTED BY Domzo on | January 7, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    @drsankalp; I doubt many of those players you mention average 57 in India, which Collingwood did during two tours there.

  • POSTED BY kempson94 on | January 9, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I presume all those who have made derogatory comments. have never considered the consequences of an Ashes defeat and a loss in SA, probable 3-1, that would've occured without Collingwood. His 74 was the most selfless, grittiest and greatest innings I have seen in modern times, having seen most. The ability to fight for your team and country without thought for personal gain, as the way he batted made a hundred impossible, is unmatched in the current era. Most batsmen would've looked for quick runs and to enjoy themselves in a losing cause, luckily for England Collingwood is neither like most players, nor like most people. His innings against SA showed a desire to play for England that I have not seen matched. Every success England have in the future can be linked back to Collingwood and the example he has set through his professionalism and hard work. In a team of underachievers, like Bell and Pietersen, Collingwood is both an overachiever and catalyst for future England success.

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | January 7, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    very well said Mr Miller.. Collingwood's contribution to English cricket was much more than the mere sum of the runs he scored... i have always been a bog admirer of his courage, sincerity and application to the game. He may not have been the most talented of players but he surely was the most gutsy of the lot... i rate him a better player than a certain Mr Pietersen... May success follow Colly wherever he goes !

  • POSTED BY TheBigFatFlapjack on | January 7, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    contd... anyway likes its been said already, colly was more than the sum of his parts or more than his numbers suggest. he had presence in the (fragile) english team. he was respected. he was coerced by andy flower to lead the english t20 team which they won under his leadership speaks volumes of his reputation. colly, for a great player such as u, this is all we can say and this is the lest we can give you as a farewell. hope u remain inthe limited oveers steup for a while before u decide to call it quits. rant over...

  • POSTED BY TheBigFatFlapjack on | January 7, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    i'm really, really, rally disappointed collingwood is retiring. he is my fav english cricketer and i used to always have a soft spot for him ever since he played his first game. colly was not about 'technique' or flamboyance. he was about hanging in there and giving his heart out, remaning as tough and unflinching as he can even in the darkest adversity. he was a real fighter, a real soldier. if he hadnt made it as a cricketer, i'm sure he'd have done well in any other career that requires pure grit and determination. he played with pain. he played despite all the criticism. he was always there for his team-mates and he ALWAYS stood up for them. no other cricketer would do that in this day and age. his batting skills shouldnt be underestimated in any way. i wonder how many players can average 40.56 playing in swinging english conditions, the bouncy pitches of aus and s. africa and the green tops of NZL, not to mention the subcontinent where many foreign batsmen fail. (contd)

  • POSTED BY TheBigFatFlapjack on | January 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    @drsankalp - what u said is totally mean and ridiculous mate. To say colly is a worse than the '100 better player playing first class cricket in India' is absolutely mind-bogglingly ridiculous. I'm sure if they were even a fraction as good as colly they would be regulars in the indian cricket team. and yeah, if colly was indian i'm sure he'd have been one of their best batsmen, especially abroad, their best and fastest bowler, without doubt their best fielder, their captain in all 3 formats, probably a selector, coach, role-model, mentor to young players and the face of all cricket Indian. Nuff said.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Colly inspired so many players behind the scenes. Few of us can estimate that.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    To Mark Checkley

    I think we are singing from the same Hymn-sheet: we both admire Colly after all, if for different reasons. Pax, eh?

    LGHH

  • POSTED BY calcric on | January 7, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    As a WI fan i must say that of many of the english cricketers Strauss, Cook and Collingwood are my favourite cricketer. The reason is becuase at least when i have seen them play against the WI and others whilst they have this very strong will to win it never comes across at all cost. i am sad to see Collingwood go and want to wish him all the best, he was a steely cricketer, a man with the heart that all cricketers should have. As a fieldsmans i rate him as high as jonty rhodes, and i have no doubt in my mind that Englands successes both in the ashes has been attributable to the steel spirit that he has been able to pass on to the middle order, and his ohhh so fine catching and fielding. Make no bones about it Englands victory in this ashes was not as easy as the outcomes suggest there were some nose grinding and hard work that had to be done in all of the tests. It seems that the English batting line upwith the exception of Strauss who always played freely, and pietersen in the 200

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    People continue to patronise Collingwood by saying "statistics aren't everything". Actually, if statistics ARE everything, he has a better Test batting average than Mike Atherton or Alec Stewart or Nasser Hussain, and no-one ever suggested that those people were not up to their job. And that's without the stupendous fielding, the unquantifiable dressing-room influence and the not-front-line-but-rather-more-than-part-time bowling. It would be more accurate to say that "style and appearances aren't everything" for, in an age where over-coaching tends to produce generations of batsmen who all look the same in action at the crease, Collingwood was not a textbook stylist. But PLEASE don't patronise the man by making excuses for allegedly poor statistics, because his statistics stand up very nicely alongside many of England's best.

  • POSTED BY Domzo on | January 7, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    @drsankalp; I doubt many of those players you mention average 57 in India, which Collingwood did during two tours there.

  • POSTED BY on | January 7, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    The statistics are not everything. Cricket is a team sport, and we must not forget the (literally immeasurable) contributions off the field - in the dressing-room, in the nets and in team-talk in general - to the morale, discipline and confidence of the side as a whole, not just in this Ashes series but over years, that Colly's presence, experience, savvy and encouragement will have made, especially for the younger members of the side.

  • POSTED BY HenWelder on | January 6, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    @drsankalp You are of course right. In fact I hazard a guess that any Indian who has ever picked up a cricket bat would be more sucessfull than Collingwood. I mean players such as Raina and Sharma have really shown how brilliant the future batsman of India are. As long as you don't bowl short at them. Or ask them to play test innings. Or bat for a draw. Or field.

  • POSTED BY Poliwag060 on | January 6, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    @drsankalp. Do you know what Collingwood's head to head average with Warne was? 151. So shut up and just pay tribute to a truely English cricketer, who was determined to do well and far surpassed anyone's expectations. A great player and a great man.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    A great team man and a talented all round cricketer. England will miss him. A good point though who replaces - another batsmen such as Morgan or a bowling all rounder? Hard act to follow...

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | January 6, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    Colly isn't fighting for his place because it's obvious Eoin Morgan has a much more valuable future with the team in terms of runs. The team is doing well, and his presence is stopping the team from evolving further by improving the No 5 position. If Colly genuinely believed that he could be better than Morgan he would probably fight it out, but it's an unselfish move to make way, and not an unintelligent move. Nasser Hussain summed it up perfectly when he retired to make way for Strauss, something along the lines of being willing to fight his weak form, his opponents and his own age, but unwilling to fight youth and the future in the form of a good up-and-coming player. Hussain retired on a high after a century which may have seen Strauss axed after a great debut, and now Colly is retiring after retaining the Ashes and most likely thrashing the Aussies 3-1. It is a good time, and good decision. And if all Morgan and others fail, he's still around, and can likely be recalled.

  • POSTED BY PottedLambShanks on | January 6, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Oh, so you like England now do you, Mr Miller?

  • POSTED BY amit4cricket on | January 6, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    drsankalp: I can't believe that you can post such mean statement about a player who played more than 60 Test Cricket and scored more than 4000 run all over the world... Always remember it is not always about the technique which matters.. character of a player is what matters... and Colly has always shown the commitment and dedication when the team most required.. watch his brilliant double-century at adelaide..

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | January 6, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    Collingwood is not intelligent. It is not enought to be a fighter on the cricket field; one has to show it how he does it throughout his life; he has fiailed to understand that; he should show he would fight back to win his test place if he is dropped; he is just 34. However he is a great cricketer because he is a great fielder and reserved his best batting for England against SA & Oz until just before this Ashes. And he is really English; really civilised.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    what a brilliant article! Sums up the great team player that Collingwood is! brilliant stuff by the writer and hats off Colly! You've done very well!!

  • POSTED BY jever03 on | January 6, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    A fighter, a team player, a great athlete and an astute cricket brain calls it a day at exactly the right time. Hats off to one of Crickets great over-achievers!

  • POSTED BY NickHughes on | January 6, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    drskankalp: What a mean spirited post. When someone scores over 4000 runs in 68 test matches for their country, you pay tribute to them when they retire. It is the fair and decent thing to do, especially when they have done so in a manner which served the team and country first and themselves second and without any scandal. Have some grace.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    One of my fav english crickter.......purely bcoz of his wrk ethic

  • POSTED BY drsankalp on | January 6, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    Collingwood is most over rated cricketer in world cricket. There are 100 better player than him playing in first class cricket in India. As usual most of england writer got color blindness to rate him higher which is nothing but ridiculous! Warne shown collingwood his worth in last decade. Its difficult to say it intellectual bankruptcy of cricket writers here or lack of knowedge about cricket which force them to write such funny posts!l

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    I am surprised at the lack of comment on the damage Collingwood's absence will do to the BALANCE of the team. People forget that, at county level and in one-day international cricket, this man is a true allrounder, a very clever medium-pacer. In the post-Flintoff era England have only been able to pursue a four-bowler policy (which has brought success) because they know that, in the event of injury or disastrous form-loss, Collingwood can pitch in with some serious bowling, for a long spell if required, and, whilst he was never the greatest wicket-taker (other than on the occasional pitch which suited) his economy rate is up there with the best - better than some of the best. If not, exactly, "front-line", this is much more than "part-time" bowling, such as Trott and Pietersen might offer, and it's availability will leave a big gap to fill if England are to persevere with the four-bowler configuration.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Yeah certainly he's a Man worth than mere numbers, he indeed is. Entirely, word to word agree on what Miller said- Others may have been blessed with more talent, but when it came to dedication - to his team-mates, to the cause, and to the quest for his own self-improvement - he was a man with few equals in the world game. He will long be remembered for his gut, determination, dedication and discipline too. & who can forget his breath-taking catches and electric fielding? Besides, he was not that bad a player too; the figure of 15 international Hundreds and over 100 wickets, to go with 200 + catches at international cricket shows, he, in fact, was any captains choice. & for the record, he still holds the record for the best all round record in an ODI; a hundred and 6 for in bowling! Hats of Colly!

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    Its been a great pleasure on watching colly's game before ashes.He is a wonderful team player and great athletic. One would felt amazed on seeing his stunning catches. Bid adieu to colly!!!. Expecting good performances in the ICC world cup.

  • POSTED BY onehorsetown on | January 6, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    "...he was not blessed with the sort of genius that could rely on inspiration alone. But in doing so, he actually made himself into an inspiration."

    Absolutely and utterly true. Well loved and will be sorely missed, Constable Collingwood.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    fantastic all round cricketer. can never forget his catch off the bowling of harmison to dismiss haydos :) way back in 2005

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    fantastic all round cricketer. can never forget his catch off the bowling of harmison to dismiss haydos :) way back in 2005

  • POSTED BY raamvenky82 on | January 6, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    role model for how a cricketer should be! not only english but world cricket will miss u in tests.Never played for his own records,not in a single match.I love him very very much. But its become usual that great players always retiring from cricket with bitter memories like lara,inzamam,ganguly,kumble... hope u rock in worldcup

  • POSTED BY A.Ak on | January 6, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Not a great end for such a complete cricketer, I thought he is got couple more years left. Aggressive or defensive when required, can bowl when required, greatest fielder of this decade, good leader and very calm person who made headlines only for good reasons. He did it for England so regularly when everyone else failed. Now he failed when everyone else scoring, which puts him out. very sad. He will be remembered again by England team, when their players starts failing again like English players (when they play against decent team). But certainly world test cricket fans will miss him. This is not good for cricket at all when one batsman fails in Ashes and out of the team for good. This is just a two team series not world series.

  • POSTED BY azaro on | January 6, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    ...A cricketer's cricketer!

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    I love him! Always have. Come 'backs to the wall time', he's your man. I used to play football in my distant youth. I was a defender, attacking and scoring goals never interested me. Defenders win games without the glory. That's Colly, that is!

  • POSTED BY Gazzypops on | January 6, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    I wonder what "talent" really is for Collingwood not to have any. To score a double century against one of the great Aussie sides in Australia without "talent" rather suggests that "talent" is an overused and misunderstood term. His strokeless defiance at Centurion was, in the context of the game, brimful of talent, I'd say.

  • POSTED BY Hanif.G on | January 6, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Most of his test innings were easily forgettable. Not the most graceful or talented of cricketers but one quality he did have in abundance was grit and determination. Once a cricketer for a crisis however, now well past his sell by date. Played 30 tests too many in my opinion.

  • POSTED BY Tom_Bowler on | January 6, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Colly has been one of my favourite cricketers for a long time. As everyone has rightly observed not the most gifted but from limited talents he manufactured a really fine international career, only very good players score hundreds in India and doubles in Oz. For someone who was possibly not naturally blessed with exquisite timing he is making his exit at the perfect moment as the senior man in a team on the brink of a crushing Ashes win.

  • POSTED BY Marvin on | January 6, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    My wife's favourite cricketer. I like him a lot too.

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | January 6, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    Collingwood is the sort of player who can inspire less-talented lovers of the game to try harder - watching Tendulkar is great, but not very encouraging as you know you'll never play like that. Collingwood stands out for the common man, an average man with great determination, discipline and dreams which have brought him success at the highest level. We will most certainly miss him on the field, although we will also certainly see more of him in a coaching role. Who better to tell the boy next door that he can be England's next test player without the eye of a Tendulkar, the grace of a Gower, the pace of a Steyn, the gift of a Warne or the brute force of a Hayden?

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Collingwood will be missed... for his fighting spirits.. and ofcourse those great catches..

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    You will be missed more in absence than in prescence - Retire in Peace

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    wonderful fielder, close to Jonty Rhodes.......and a able batsman......bye Colly you will always remain one of my favorite among English batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    He will be remembered in the same kind way that Alan Knott and Derek Randall are. People that made the team whole and worth watching. His Ponting catch was outstanding and probably has ended his career as well - a good scalp at the end.

  • POSTED BY Anup82 on | January 6, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Collingwood has a good share in the achievements of England. As sated by many, he was a hardworking and determined player, whose vital contributions have helped achieve many triumphs for his team. Surely we will miss him in Tests. Best of luck to u...take a bow....

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | January 6, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    He's leaving while still on a high in the shorter formats. Quite unlike players like Ponting who clearly prefer to linger on until the moment of disgrace.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Not the most talented player ever but he mustered all the skill he had out of himself and seemed to excel when the chips were down. As everyone says he wasn't great to watch in the conventional sense, however many enjoyed watching his gritty, determined batting. One of the great Fielders of the modern era and a decent bowling option, Collingwood was/is a player to remember and one of my favourite cricketers.

  • POSTED BY banter123 on | January 6, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    i still remember cardiff,one of the best test matches i ever saw. It was 3am in the morning and i was even surprised how did monty and andy saved the last 10 overs..all thanks to colly

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    This is a pretty sad news.....a loss for Test Cricket. A true Team man who has once again put the future of the team before himself. PC wish you have a wonderful ODI and T20! Hope you do well in the coming World Cup!!

  • POSTED BY Kumaranuj on | January 6, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    Collingwood is those type of cricketer who have not good figure to tell their worthiness to the team, but they are more worthy then their record sujest. In current series he did'n do well with the bat but he was very awesome as a fielder, he take some very sharp and match turning catch in the slip area including those( i think 2) catches of Ponting. He is a good fighter, he fight for himself and for the team as a player and as a captain. England are gonna miss a good hard working character of Colingwood.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    The man who gave glim's of Jonty" Rhodes.......

  • POSTED BY titansnights on | January 6, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    Such a fighter, who have admired many true cricket fans with his limited abilities..I will rate his fighting qualities alongside with Steve Waugh and Laxman..And an honest man, who quit at the right time, paving the way for the youngsters...Hats off to one of the true cricketers...

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 6, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster-"probably as a stodgy, horrible player by others, but he won't mind that". Not so mate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and toughness and determination are most attractive to we Aussies.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Very well said!! Collingwood although born with limited capability, more than made it with sheer determination, will and hard work!! His ability to rise and stay put when everyone else were falling is superb!! He is such a team player. The fact that he retired to "Give way to youngsters" proves it! He never played for statistics, thats why he went on to be "a man worth more than the numbers." We will miss his exceptional fielding but what we will miss THE most is the fight he shows like an underdog boxer to get the better of the favorite!!

    Alll the best Colly

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | January 6, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    He's a player who's left me with many great memories without me realising - I will never forget Cardiff, but other knocks like Nagpur and his hundred against SA will stay with me. There was a 180-odd against Pakistan at Lord's I think as well, where he kept dancing down the wicket to Danish Kaneria. He'll be remembered fondly by England fans, probably as a stodgy, horrible player by others, but he won't mind that.

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  • POSTED BY SDHM on | January 6, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    He's a player who's left me with many great memories without me realising - I will never forget Cardiff, but other knocks like Nagpur and his hundred against SA will stay with me. There was a 180-odd against Pakistan at Lord's I think as well, where he kept dancing down the wicket to Danish Kaneria. He'll be remembered fondly by England fans, probably as a stodgy, horrible player by others, but he won't mind that.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Very well said!! Collingwood although born with limited capability, more than made it with sheer determination, will and hard work!! His ability to rise and stay put when everyone else were falling is superb!! He is such a team player. The fact that he retired to "Give way to youngsters" proves it! He never played for statistics, thats why he went on to be "a man worth more than the numbers." We will miss his exceptional fielding but what we will miss THE most is the fight he shows like an underdog boxer to get the better of the favorite!!

    Alll the best Colly

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 6, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster-"probably as a stodgy, horrible player by others, but he won't mind that". Not so mate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and toughness and determination are most attractive to we Aussies.

  • POSTED BY titansnights on | January 6, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    Such a fighter, who have admired many true cricket fans with his limited abilities..I will rate his fighting qualities alongside with Steve Waugh and Laxman..And an honest man, who quit at the right time, paving the way for the youngsters...Hats off to one of the true cricketers...

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    The man who gave glim's of Jonty" Rhodes.......

  • POSTED BY Kumaranuj on | January 6, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    Collingwood is those type of cricketer who have not good figure to tell their worthiness to the team, but they are more worthy then their record sujest. In current series he did'n do well with the bat but he was very awesome as a fielder, he take some very sharp and match turning catch in the slip area including those( i think 2) catches of Ponting. He is a good fighter, he fight for himself and for the team as a player and as a captain. England are gonna miss a good hard working character of Colingwood.

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    This is a pretty sad news.....a loss for Test Cricket. A true Team man who has once again put the future of the team before himself. PC wish you have a wonderful ODI and T20! Hope you do well in the coming World Cup!!

  • POSTED BY banter123 on | January 6, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    i still remember cardiff,one of the best test matches i ever saw. It was 3am in the morning and i was even surprised how did monty and andy saved the last 10 overs..all thanks to colly

  • POSTED BY on | January 6, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Not the most talented player ever but he mustered all the skill he had out of himself and seemed to excel when the chips were down. As everyone says he wasn't great to watch in the conventional sense, however many enjoyed watching his gritty, determined batting. One of the great Fielders of the modern era and a decent bowling option, Collingwood was/is a player to remember and one of my favourite cricketers.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | January 6, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    He's leaving while still on a high in the shorter formats. Quite unlike players like Ponting who clearly prefer to linger on until the moment of disgrace.