English cricket supporters have paid tribute to Paul Collingwood and his services after his announcement on Thursday that he would be retiring from Test cricket.
Collingwood, 34, made the announcement on the fourth day of the final match of the 2010-11 Ashes series against Australia.
England had already retained the Ashes at the time of Collingwood’s announcement, and the side on their way to winning the final test, the eventual victory ensuring that they also won the series 3-1.
He said of his decision: “I honestly think it’s the right time and in many ways it’s the perfect moment. This is what I’ve been playing the game of cricket for; to be in a position (to win the Ashes) against Australia, in Australia.”
Collingwood struggled with the bat throughout the series, scoring just 83 runs from six innings; an average of just 13.83. However he was still reliable as ever in the field, taking 9 catches to Australia wicket keeper Brad Haddin’s 8, including the incredible dismissal of Ricky Ponting in the 3rd Test in Perth.
Despite his dip in form, supporter Jonathan Hughes, of Lancaster, believes Collingwood’s retirement may have been premature: “I reckon he had a few more years left in him. People often imply that he’s not got a great deal of talent and works with what he’s got, but I think that’s unfair. You only have to watch his fielding to know that his athleticism and hand-eye coordination are second to none.”
Paul Collingwood Facts
Collingwood’s underachievement with the bat isn’t the sole reason for his retirement from the Test side. He has admitted that up and coming players were also a large factor in his decision: “There are a lot of youngsters coming through, so this team will progress.”
It is thought that left handed batsman Eoin Morgan is set to step into Collinwood’s position for the next England Test series this summer, which is against Sri Lanka.
England fan Gareth Fox, of North Wales, believes that it was the right decision for Collingwood to retire: “I think that Collingwood leaving will strengthen the batting order but we’ll miss his fielding and genuine experience. I would bring in (Eoin) Morgan to bat 6, with (Ian) Bell moving up to 5 in the order.”
Whilst supporters will no longer see Paul Collingwood in the longer format of the game in an England shirt, he will continue to captain the Twenty20 side and be part of the One Day team.