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Paul Collingwood to retire from all cricket at the end of the season

By Adam Ellis

Durham captain and England T20 World Cup hero Paul Collingwood has announced he will retire from all forms of professional cricket at the end of the current season.

The all-rounder stands at the top of his county’s record books for most first-class runs, scoring 16,891 over 304 matches, and will retire at the age of 42 after the final match of the season against Middlesex in the County Championship.

Collingwood’s accolades in international cricket with England include captaining the team to its first ever major trophy triumph at the 2010 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

Victory was ensured with Collingwood bowling changes limiting Australia to 147-6 in the final, allowing Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen to produce innings of 63 and 47 to guide England to silverware.

The Durham legend also enjoyed a fine Test career which saw England reach the top of the ICC rankings under Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss, and record three Ashes series victories. Taking the decision to retire in 2011 to prolong his county career, Collingwood (40.56) will end his career as one of 11 players to finish with a Test average over 40.00 this millenium.

On his decision, Collingwood said: “After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to announce my retirement from cricket at the end of the current season.

“I knew this day would eventually come but it hasn’t made it any easier – although it’s an emotional decision, I know that the time is right and I’m comfortable knowing that I have given every last ounce of energy to the sport.

“I have achieved so much with both Durham and England; far more than I ever imagined and I feel extremely privileged to have had such a long and rewarding career.

“It has been an honour to represent Durham County Cricket Club for the last 23 years and I would like to thank the staff, coaches, team mates and members for their tremendous support and for making my career so enjoyable.

“I am excited about what the future holds for me and am looking forward to new challenges.”

Destined for a role in coaching, Collingwood was invited by Trevor Bayliss to training sessions during the recent home series against India.

On Collingwood, Durham chairman Sir Ian Botham, said: “Paul is one of the greatest all-rounders to ever grace the game of cricket and to have him playing at Durham, his home county, for all these years has been an absolute privilege.

“Both on and off the field he has class, intelligence and charm and it is a testament to his incredible commitment and work ethic that he has been able to compete at the top level for the amount of time that he has.

“Colly is Mr Durham and it will be very strange without him, but on behalf of myself and everyone at Durham County Cricket Club, I would like to wish him the very best in whatever the future holds.”

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