Collingwood retires from Test cricket
Paul Collingwood has announced he will retire from Test cricket following the current Sydney encounter against Australia. He will continue to play both Twenty20 and one-day internationals for his country.
Collingwood, 34, made his Test debut in 2003 against Sri Lanka at Galle and has gone on to earn 68 caps. With the potential of one innings remaining in Sydney he has 4259 runs but has struggled during the Ashes with just 83 runs in six innings.
"Representing England at Test level has always been a dream of mine and I've been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some amazing highs throughout my Test career," Collingwood said. "I'm proud of the fact that I've always given my all for the England Test team but I feel that this is the right time to leave Test cricket having reached some very special achievements, none more satisfying that retaining the Ashes in Australia.
"I also feel now is the time to ensure some of the younger players are given an opportunity at Test level as we have a wealth of talent pushing for places in the England Test team," he added. "Clearly I still feel I have a huge amount to offer England in terms of limited overs cricket and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue leading the Twenty20 squad and playing a significant role in England's ODI team."
His highest Test score of 206 came against Australia, at Adelaide, in 2006 and he confounded many by having a long and successful career. After his debut in Sri Lanka he played the final match of the 2005 Ashes, at The Oval, before earning a permanent place in the line-up during the following winter tours of Pakistan and India.
Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, said: "Paul Collingwood has made an outstanding contribution to the England Test team. His performances have been admired and recognised by his team-mates and England supporters over many years and his tireless commitment in the Test match arena will be something he will always be remembered for.
"I'm delighted that Paul will be available to continue to make important contributions to our ODI and Twenty20 teams."
Last weekend Collingwood admitted to the Mail on Sunday that the end of his Test days were drawing close. "My form during this series and most recently my latest failure in the fourth Test in Melbourne means the subject of my Test future was bound to be raised sooner or later," he said.
"I am at the crossroads and what happens in the final Test may well determine what direction I go in. I am sure by the end of this Test, I will know more myself and be better able to judge what the general feeling is in terms of where I am as a Test player and the contribution I can still make to the England team in future and what is the best way forward."
Collingwood struggled to 13 in England's first innings before lofting Michael Beer to mid-on, but even though the runs haven't come he has played a role in the team's Ashes success with his impressive catching at slip and useful medium pace. In Australia's first innings he bowled Mike Hussey with what could prove his final ball in Test cricket.