Paul Collingwood, Durham’s highest run-getter, is set to retire from all forms of cricket at the end of England’s 2018 domestic season. The all-rounder has represented the club in 23 out of their 26 seasons. In 304 first-class games, he has amassed 16, 844 runs and picked 164 wickets.
The County Championship game against Middlesex at Emirates Riverside, which begins on September 24, will be their last of the season.
“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to announce my retirement from cricket at the end of the current season,” Collingwood said on Thursday. “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.”
Collingwood had retired from Test cricket in 2011, following their Ashes win in Australia. He was a part of three Ashes winning squads, apart from leading them to their only World T20 win – in 2010. However, he continued to be a prolific run-getter thereafter for Durham.
Born in Shotley Bridge, Collingwood made his debut for Durham in 1996. Apart from his skills with the bat and handy medium pacer, he was also a brilliant fielder. He also recorded the first T20 century for his domestic side.
Even in the evening of his career, last season, Collingwood was bestowed with three awards – Durham’s 2017 Player of the Year Dinner, including Player of the Year, Players Player of the Year and Batsman of the Year.
For his prolific contribution to the club, he was honoured with the pavilion being named after him at his home ground.
He aims to be connected with cricket, in a coaching capacity. Ian Botham, Durham County Cricket Club’s chairman, hailed his contribution and 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.”