DURHAM captain Paul Collingwood has shelved retirement plans by signing a new one-year deal with the county.
The former England all-rounder, 38, had initially planned to end his playing career at the end of the current campaign but will now continue to skipper the LV= County Championship side in 2015.
Collingwood had done some coaching work with England’s one-day side under Ashley Giles and may have formed part of the latter’s backroom team had he been named as Andy Flower’s successor earlier this year.
But the appointment of Peter Moores, supported by Paul Farbrace, meant Collingwood refocused on his Durham duties.
With the county battling relegation Collingwood has scored 518 championship runs, while he has averaged 68 and taken 21 wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup to help his side to the quarter-finals.
“I had presumed this was going to be my last season but I’m really enjoying my cricket and feel as though I’m still contributing to the team,” he said.
“You’re a long time retired and I’ve still got ambitions to take this team forward.
“It really is a special group of guys to be involved with and I don’t want to give that up too early.
“We’ve got a lot to play for in the back end of the season with the quarter-finals and trying to avoid relegation, which would be a huge achievement.
“There is a bigger picture as well which is about having another year to continue to create a culture that will hopefully be around for another five to 10 years. I’m certain that the backbone of this side, with the youngsters coming through, will be strong for years to come.”
H England do not have a “cat in hell’s chance” of winning next year’s World Cup under Alastair Cook, according to Graeme Swann.
Swann was outspoken on Test Match Special coverage of the washed-out first Royal London Series fixture against India in Bristol yesterday.
He voiced astonishment that England have left all-rounder Ravi Bopara out of their squad over the next two weeks, and is mystified by a collective lack of power in the batting order.
Swann welcomed the introduction of his former Nottinghamshire team-mate Alex Hales as Cook’s new opening partner, but believes it is a move that should have been made long ago.
He insists others, such as uncapped James Vince and Jason Roy, should also be fast-tracked into the team before it is too late.
He said of his former team-mate and captain: “I love Alastair Cook dearly, but I don’t think he should be bothering playing ODI cricket any more.
“Let young people play who want to smash it everywhere and win you the World Cup.”
“We won’t win this one - there’s no chance. But in four years’ time, we might have a chance of winning a World Cup if we get all these young, exciting players - people who have been brought up on one-day cricket and have none of the baggage of this old-fashioned style of cricket we play.”