Collingwood, England’s ‘Blue Collar’ man

Sydney: Paul Collingwood earned a reputation as a flinty ‘blue collar’ competitor and an outstanding fielder in his 68 Tests for England.

Collingwood, who announced his retirement from Test cricket during the final Sydney Test today, was an integral part of England’s Ashes series victories in 2009 and in the current contest in Australia.

Collingwood, 34, will remain as England’s Twenty20 captain and play in the one-day team at next month’s World Cup in the sub-continent.

He played in the last Test of the 2005 home series as Michael Vaughan’s team won back the Ashes and played in all five Tests of the 2009 and 2010/11 series. He also was in all five Tests on the 2006/07 Down Under, which Australia won 5-0.

His batting form tailed off during the current series with just 83 runs from six innings, but he will be remembered for his highest Test score of 206 against Australia in the second Adelaide Test in 2006.

He shared in a ground record fourth wicket stand of 310 runs with Kevin Pietersen in that Adelaide Test.

Collingwood scored 10 Test centuries, four against the West Indies, and at the time of his announcement he had accumulated 4,259 runs in Tests at 40.95.

He will also be remembered for his acrobatic fielding and stunning catches, particularly at third slip.

His leaping one-handed catch in the slips to dismiss Ricky Ponting for 12 in the first innings of the third Perth Test ranks as one of the catches of the current Ashes series.

He has taken eight catches in this series and 96 overall in Tests.

Collingwood also proved a useful medium-paced bowler when the occasion dictated and in the Sydney Test chipped in with the crucial wicket of Australia’s leading series scorer Mike Hussey in his four overs in the first innings.

He has taken 17 wickets at just under 60.

Collingwood became the first man to score a century and take six wickets in a one-day international.

He hit an unbeaten 112 from only 86 balls to propel England to a record-breaking score of 391 for four, before taking 6-31 against Bangladesh.

Collingwood was selected for the final Ashes Test of 2005 following an injury to Simon Jones and shared a crucial 60-run stand with Kevin Pietersen that helped England hang on for the result which regained the Ashes urn.

He was made an MBE at the end of 2005 as the whole England team were recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Collingwood led England to their first-ever success in a global tournament when his team defeated Australia by seven wickets in the World Twenty20 final in Barbados last May.

Bureau Report

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