Belfast Telegraph

The Ashes: Collingwood brings his Test career to a close

Paul Collingwood has announced his retirement from Test cricket.

The 34-year-old England batsman told his team-mates of his decision on the fourth morning of the final Test against Australia in Sydney today.

With England on the verge of winning the Ashes outright in Australia for the first time in 24 years, Collingwood —who has been out of form in this series — has chosen a watershed moment to call time on his 68-Test career.

Collingwood, who may yet need to bat one last time in England's second innings, has a career average of 40.25 and has made 4,259 runs.

The Durham batsman began his Test career against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2003.

He has also played in 189 one-day internationals for his country, is a former captain of that team and last year led England to their first International Cricket Council global trophy when they won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

Appointed an MBE after playing in just one Ashes Test in England’s 2005 victory, the 34-year-old played his full part in regaining them in England in 2009, notably with his ‘Brigadier Block’ marathon innings to save the draw in the first Test in Cardiff.

He made the 10th century of his 67-Test career in Bangladesh last spring — his only double-century coming against Australia in Adelaide in 2006-07 — but since then he has struggled for runs and in the current campaign he has made just 70 in five innings.

“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,” said Collingwood earlier this week.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the series I’ve had with the bat so far. I can’t get away from the fact that scoring runs is my job in the side, so I won’t hide away.

“I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. I honestly feel as fit as I have ever been.

“I’m enjoying Test cricket and playing for England more than I ever have done and our success, and if you’re enjoying it why would you give it up?

“But on a personal level, this is a big week for me in Sydney. I’m at the crossroads and what happens in the final Test may well determine what direction I go in.

“I’m sure by the end of this Test I’ll 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.”

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