Paul Collingwood: It would be hard to turn down England role

Andrew Strauss could give Collingwood a role in new set-up

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The Independent Online

Former England one-day captain Paul Collingwood has been sounded out by Andrew Strauss for a potential role in the rebuilding of English cricket.

Strauss, the newly appointed director of England cricket, is assembling a one-day advisory panel of players and ex-players to harness the best minds in the game to bring England into the modern world.

Collingwood offers a wealth of international experience as well as eyes on the ground as captain of Durham, a role he is keen to prolong as long as his legs will carry him. He has already served in a coaching capacity with Scotland and the UAE, in addition to working with England at the T20 World Cup and on tours to the Caribbean and Bangladesh under the previous regime led by Paul Downton.

“I’ve spoken to Straussy but there’s nothing concrete as yet. He knows my position, that I’m still enjoying playing. I love England, England is my passion. The experience of playing for England for so many years, that’s where you feel you belong.

“You’re never guaranteed a job when you come out of cricket but if there was a role they wanted me to play somewhere it would be hard to turn down,” he said.

Collingwood described England’s performances at the World Cup as “pre-historic”. “I think everybody has probably said what they needed to say over the past few months. It was obviously pretty pre-historic in terms of the way they went about things. You could see that in the results they got. Everybody knows there has to be a new direction in the one-day thinking and it seems things have been put in place for that.

“I’ve always said there is a lot of talent around to choose from but you’ve got to get the direction from the coach, how he wants to go about the one-day game. There’s a lot of players in there that could win games for England, not just do well but actually win games for England and I think there’s a big difference between players who can win games and those who will just do well.”

England and Somerset wicketkeeper/batsman Craig Kieswetter has announced his retirement from cricket due to an eye injury.

The 27-year-old South Africa-born player sustained a fractured cheekbone after being hit by a ball in a County Championship match with Northamptonshire in July last year and struggled to regain perfect vision.

“Having gone through that experience of my eye injury and everything it entailed, I feel mentally I will never again be the player I was,” Kieswetter said.