Former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood announced on Thursday that this county season will be his last. It has been 22 years since he made his professional debut. He is also the only Englishman to lead a side to an ICC trophy and has also a won of three Ashes series against the mighty Aussies, Collingwood will always be remembered as a positive player.
Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals and 36 T20 matches for England and the 2010 T2o World Cup in the West Indies was the highlight of his career.
"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," Collingwood said.
Collingwood scored 4259 runs in Tests at an average of 40.56 with the highest score of 206. Here we take a look at three of his best Test innings which will be remembered by the English fans for a long time to come.
#3 74 v Australia, Cardiff, 2009
July 12, 2009, was the fifth day of the First Ashes Test of 2009 series. The day is still etched in the memories of England fans as the day when their players showed grit and determination. A fighting draw that gave them the momentum to win the series in the end. And it was Paul Collingwood's sheer unwillingness to throw his wicket away that made it possible.
Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was hosting its first Test match. Australia took a lead of 239 runs in the first innings and the English team had its back against the wall. England was reeling at 102 for 5 with Collingwood and Flintoff at the crease. They stitched together a partnership of 55 runs where Collingwood played totally on the back foot against Australian spinner Nathan Hauritz.
Collingwood managed to get some support from Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann. Finally, when he was out after playing 254 balls, Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar played out 69 balls to give England an incredible draw and a chance to stay and fight in the series.
#2 134 not out v India, Nagpur, 2006
The first century for any Test player is always memorable and if it comes in conditions which are meant to be different from the ones you have practised in throughout your life, it becomes special.
This century was more important as it helped England to a big total which helped them dictate the outcome of the match. Showing great skill against the spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, this innings also showed his ability to bat with the tail which helped England in many Test matches to follow.
People remember the Nagpur Test as the one where Alastair Cook made his debut, but Collingwood's innings paved England's way to becoming a better touring side.
#1. 206 v Australia, Adelaide, 2006-07
Centuries made for a winning cause are always remembered more but sometimes history fails to give justice to some of the best innings played as the innings doesn't result in a win for the team.
This inning was one of those kinds. In a 392-ball innings where he formed a great partnership with Kevin Pietersen, Collingwood adjusted well to the slow nature of the pitch. England surrendered to Shane Warne on the final day and lost the Test match, but Collingwood played the best innings of his life.
It also helped Collingwood become the first Englishman to score a double-century in Australia in 70 years