England's veteran cricketer Paul Collingwood has announced his retirement from Test cricket before the fourth day of the fifth Ashes test at Sydney. However, he will continue to play limited-overs cricket for his country.
Collingwood, who is the captain of England's T20 side, has struggled for form recently and has made only 83 runs from six innings in the current Ashes series.
The 34-year old said in a statement, Representing England at Test level has always been a dream of mine and I've been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some amazing highs throughout my Test career.
I'm proud of the fact that I've always given my all for the England Test team but I feel that this is the right time to leave Test cricket having reached some very special achievements, none more satisfying than retaining the Ashes in Australia.
Clearly I still feel I have a huge amount to offer England in terms of limited overs cricket and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue leading the Twenty20 squad and playing a significant role in England's ODI team.
Collingwood has played 68 tests but described his feat as an overachievement and was very modest when stating that England's ambition of becoming the No. 1 team in the world will be much more attainable without him in the team.
He continued, I was hoping to go out with a bit of a fairytale ending but it wasn't to be. Still, I'm very happy with the decision, it's the right time to do it - I don't think there's a better way to go out of the game in the Test format than retaining the Ashes.
I'm very realistic, this team is moving forward and I'm 34, coming up 35 in May, and whether my technique and skill in the Test format of the game can keep up with these young guys who are coming through, I doubt it very much. I'm certainly very happy with what I've done throughout my career. I've got a lot of great memories.
He admitted to making his announcement mid-Test was to quash rumors which had begun to spread while also because he believed that England might have won with a day to spare. He also admitted to feeling a swell of emotions in the final half-hour of the day, when the England supporters made SCG sound like Lords.
I'm a softie really, to be honest, he said. I always said I wanted to bow out in England in front of English fans, but that felt like home tonight, with the atmosphere that was out there. It was very special. Someone said to me yesterday, I might not be too bothered about a massive swansong, but a lot of fans might be. When you look around the ground, you deserve to have those lasting memories.
Collingwood, apart from being a fine fielder, has scored 4,259 runs in 68 Tests at an average of 40.25 and his retirement gives the likes of Eoin Morgan, James Hildreth and Andrew Gale a chance to fill the gap.