England all-rounder Paul Collingwood has announced he is to retire from Test cricket following the conclusion of the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney.
Amid speculation that the Durham player was due to bring an end to his Test career, confirmation came on the morning of the fourth day at the Sydney Cricket Ground that he was indeed set to retire.
He will, however, continue to play one-day cricket for England and captain the Twenty20 International team - which he led to victory in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies.
Collingwood will have played 68 Tests, scoring more than 4000 runs at an average of over 40. He also took 17 wickets and took 94 catches, becoming a key part of England's close-fielding unit.
Collingwood scored ten Test centuries, but more recently became renowned for leading significant rearguard actions following drawn matches against Australia in Cardiff in 2009 and South Africa in Cape Town in 2010 in which he played key roles with the bat.
"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," Collingwood said in a statement.
"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 that retaining the Ashes in Australia.
"I also feel now is the time to ensure some of the younger players are given an opportunity at Test level as we have a wealth of talent pushing for places in the England Test team.
"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."
Hugh Morris, Managing Director of England Cricket, added: "Paul Collingwood has made an outstanding contribution to the England Test team.
"His performances have been admired and recognised by his teammates and England supporters over many years and his tireless commitment in the Test match arena will be something he will always be remembered for.
"I'm delighted that Paul will be available to continue to make important contributions to our ODI and Twenty20 teams."
© Cricket World 2011