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Out-of-form Collingwood mulls Test retirement

January 02, 2011 21:51 IST

In the line of fire following miserable form in the Ashes, England middle order Paul Collingwood has admitted that he faces an uncertain future and the Sydney Test, starting tomorrow, could be his last.

Collingwood, who has scored just 70 runs in five innings in the four Ashes Tests so far, conceded he is standing "at the crossroads" of his Test career.

The three-time Ashes hero, who was appointed an MBE after the 2005 victory, has been struggling for runs after scoring a double-century against Australia in Adelaide in 2006-07.

paul collingwood Former captain Andrew Flintoff has called for dropping Collingwood if England wants to be a world-beating side.

"My form during this series and most recently my latest failure in the fourth Test in Melbourne means the subject of my Test future was bound to be raised sooner or later," said Collingwood, who led England to World Twenty20 success in the Caribbean last May and remains an integral part of their One-day side.

"If this does turn out to be my last Test match, if, after this week, the selectors come to me and say it's time to go or I felt that myself, I'd leave very proud of what I've contributed to the England cricket team," Collingwood was quoted as saying by Mail on Sunday.

Collingwood, who captained England to Twenty20 World Cup triumph last year, accepted that his primary job was to score runs and if he was not doing that he does not deserve a place in the Test side.

"I'm obviously disappointed with the series I've had with the bat so far. I can't get away from the fact that scoring runs is my job in the side, so I won't hide away. This is a big week for me in Sydney. I'm at the crossroads and what happens in the final Test may well determine what direction I go in.

"I'm sure by the end of this Test I'll know more myself and be better able to judge what the general feeling is in terms of where I am as a Test player and the contribution I can still make to the England team in future and what is the best way forward," he said.

"Yet, at the same time, I understand the arguments 100 per cent and I understand there are other batsmen after my spot. And the bottom line is that, at my age, if you're not scoring runs yourself you don't deserve a place in the side," said 34-year-old Collingwood who has scored 4246 runs from 67 Tests.

Collingwood said if he has to quit Test cricket after the Sydney match, he would still be a happy man with his achievements.

"No matter what happens from this point on, though, I can safely say that, after what I went through at the start of my career, if someone had offered me three Ashes wins, a Twenty20 World Cup and 10 Test hundreds I would have snapped their hand off," he said.

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