Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Colly Is Focused Only on Windies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Colly Is Focused Only on Windies

Article excerpt

PAUL Collingwood has too much on his mind trying to help England through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup to worry about how long his own international career may continue.

The 34-year-old is only three matches away from becoming the first Englishman to play in 200 one-day internationals.

However, for him, the only one which counts is England's next fixture - their final Group B match against West Indies, which they almost certainly need to win to avoid another early World Cup exit.

England have never won this competition in nine previous attempts stretching back 36 years, and are in danger of leaving before the knockout stages for the fourth successive time.

A surprise victory for Holland against Bangladesh in Chittagong could yet change that uncomfortable equation.

However, for Durham all-rounder for Collingwood, it is already all about that decisive match in Chennai on Thursday.

It will be a major regret for him if England fail to do themselves justice in what, if still far from the end of his ODI career, is sure to be his final World Cup.

On a day when it was suggested captain Andrew Strauss may be about to quit ODIs after this sub-continental campaign - a move understood to be highly unlikely - Collingwood insisted he is looking no more than four days into the future.

He said: "You put the whole thing together and we are a formidable team. We want to do that against the West Indies.

England have found themselves in an awkward spot thanks to a highly eventful but equally inconsistent campaign so far, in which they have beaten South Africa and tied with tournament favourites India yet also lost to the supposed lesser lights of Ireland and Bangladesh.

For Collingwood, the whole narrative is reminiscent of last spring's ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean - where he led his country to their first ever International Cricket Council trophy.

He added: "I see things developing very much how the Twenty20 did last year in the West Indies. …

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