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Collingwood has end in sight

By Matthew Sherry

Paul Collingwood predicts 2014 will be his swansong following a glittering playing career.

The 37-year-old, who appeared in 68 Tests, 197 one-day internationals and led England to their first global tournament success in the 2010 World Twenty20, continues to add chapters to his sterling CV.

He did so this year as he skippered Durham to their third LV= County Championship title in six seasons.

However, Collingwood conceded there may not be too many years ahead in his playing career.

Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, he revealed: "I am enjoying myself; I have one year left on my contract and I would have thought that would be it after that."

Should Collingwood decide enough is enough at the conclusion of next season, he can take comfort from having plenty of options thereafter.

Having shone as an affable TV pundit, he will this winter take his first steps in coaching after being added to Scotland's backroom team.

"I have enjoyed the TV stuff more than I thought I would," he admitted. "I quite enjoy providing in-depth analysis.

"Coaching is always the role I have always fancied but you have got to experience it, which is why I am doing this job through the winter."

He heads into the winter buoyed by having led Durham to a championship triumph that hardly seemed likely when they were being tipped to struggle at the start of the campaign.

While winning the Division One trophy has almost become commonplace in recent times, this one is extra special for Collingwood.

Indeed, as well as being captain, he can take great pride in playing a bigger role than in 2008 and 2009 when he was a regular feature in the England team.

Asked if it was extra special, he replied: "It was, yeah. Obviously being captain and having so many homegrown players, too, was great.

"I know every team tells you when you're winning that there is good camaraderie and all that sort of stuff, but there was a real cohesion in the team."

Their success was all the more impressive, too, given the absence of their coach Geoff Cook for much of the season due to a heart attack.

"We went through some hard times and adversity with Geoff Cook's illness," he said. "Every single game we seemed to have an injury or lose a player.

"There was a long list of things throughout the season that just seemed to gel the team more together really.

"Once we got the momentum and the confidence it was hard stopping us. Whatever the situation, we just seemed to find a way to win. It was a really special achievement this summer."

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