Thursday, 6 January 2011

Paul Collingwood retires from Test match cricket

Paul Collingwood has announced his decision to retire from Test Match cricket at the end of the fifth, and final match in the Ashes series.

Collingwood divides opinion. He was never the most gifted of batsman. He never played the flashy shots. He never made the game look beautiful. However, with an average at over 40, and this achieved during some of the darker times for the England team,  he hasn't exactly done badly. He also scored runs when England most needed them, saving England from defeat on several occasions.

His bowling wasn't spectacular. He took 17 wickets I believe, and this is an okay return. He wasn't without talent.

Where he excelled was as a fielder. Bar Jonty Rhodes, I am yet to see a better fielder in my lifetime, and it will probably take a decade to find another. The number of great catches I can think of in my head mainly belong to this man.

The thing about Collingwood, and why is a fine example to people throughout the country, is he made the most of average talent. He wasn't the most gifted, he didn't have a god given talent, but he worked hard at all of his skills. There are better technical players he kept out of the side and this is because of the hard work and dedication he put in on the field.

He hasn't done bad either in terms of honours. Ashes winner twice at home, once away and a Twenty Twenty World Cup winning captain.

People mocked him, but when you look back on his record, he has been a superb servant to English cricket and we could do with a couple more players like him to have around.

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