Collingwood dismisses retirement talks, ECB backs Strauss

Chennai: England batsman Paul Collingwood on Monday dismissed talks of his retirement from ODI cricket after the World Cup while the ECB quashed any suggestions of captain Andrew Strauss quitting the 50-over format after his side`s humiliating loss to Bangladesh.

England have so far witnessed an erratic World Cup campaign and they now need to beat the West Indies to be sure of place in the quarter-finals.

And senior pros Strauss and Collingwood bore the brunt with their ODI futures being questioned.

But Twenty20 captain Collingwood denied that he is retiring from ODIs and insisted his only concern is the next game against the West Indies.

He feels England`s sluggish start to the tournament is similar to their experience at the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, where they emerged champions despite some scrappy showings in the early stages.

"One reason I retired from Test cricket was to prolong the one-day side of things and I still feel I have major contributions to make. I`m still Twenty20 captain. I want to continue that as well. It`s not in my mind to even think about things like (my future)," Collingwood said.

"I see things developing very much how the Twenty20 did last year in the West Indies. We scraped through the group stages, but once we did we really put our performances together and went on to win it. We really need to focus on getting this complete game. You put the whole thing together, and we`re a formidable team. We want to do that against the West Indies."

England players have been practically living out of their suitcases for the past five months since departing home for Australia at the end of October.

Collingwood admitted scheduling has been tough but said there was no excuse for their poor showing so far in the ongoing World Cup.

"It`s not ideal having two huge series or tournaments together, it`s like having two Olympics in the same winter. But we can`t make that as an excuse. We`re focused on knowing if we win those four games we win the World Cup and there aren`t many times in your career where you can say that," he said.

The ECB also quickly sought to quash suggestions that regular captain Strauss would retire from one-day cricket at the end of the World Cup.

"I can say, categorically, that Andrew and I have not had that conversation (about retirement). It`s purely speculation," ECB managing director Hugh Morris told BBC
Sport.

"At the end of each winter series we have a robust debrief and Andrew will be involved, but at this stage we`ve had no discussions. I`ve had no discussions with Kevin (Pietersen), Andrew or any players."

PTI

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