Collingwood calls time on Test career
England’s Paul Collingwood has announced his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes series.
The 34-year-old revealed his decision before play got under way on the fourth morning of the final Test in Sydney.
Collingwood, who will continue to captain the Twenty20 side and play one-day cricket, said: “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.
“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 than 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.
“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."
An Ashes series triumph - England need avoid defeat in this game to achieve that ambition - would be a fitting finale to a distinguished Test career that began in 2003.
Although he has endured a lean tour of Australia with the bat - he has managed just 83 runs in five Tests - Collingwood nonetheless boasts a fine record.
Assuming he does not bat again in this Test, his 68th, he will retire having scored 4,259 runs at an average of 40.56, including 10 centuries.
Hugh Morris, 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.”
Appointed captain of the 20-over side in 2009, he led England to World Twenty20 glory in the Caribbean the following year - their first global one-day trophy.
A doughty middle-order batsman, at least in the Test arena, Collingwood's gutsy approach and commitment to the cause earned him the respect of peers and fans alike.
He will also be remembered as one of the finest fielders of this or any other generation, having taken 96 catches and saved countless runs in the backward point region.
Providing England do not lose at the SCG, Collingwood will have been part of three successful Ashes-winning teams following success on home soil in 2005 and 2009.
His highest score was the 206 he made against Australia at Adelaide in 2006, although it is innings such as his dogged 74 - made over almost six hours - to help England save the opening Ashes Test at Cardiff in 2009 by which his career will be defined.