Durham captain and former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood has announced he will end his 23-year professional career at the end of the season.
Collingwood made his debut for his hometown county in 1996 and has gone on to feature in nearly 900 matches across all formats.
The 42-year-old has been described by Durham as their “greatest ever run scorer and most illustrious player” and he will bring the curtain down in the club’s final County Championship fixture of the season against Middlesex later this month.
“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to announce my retirement from cricket at the end of the current season,” Collingwood said.
“I knew this day would eventually come but it hasn’t made it any easier – although it’s an emotional decision, I know that the time is right and I’m comfortable knowing that I have given every last ounce of energy to the sport.”
A three-time Ashes winner and the only man to captain England to a global trophy after leading them to glory in the 2010 World Twenty20, Collingwood’s international career comprised of 68 Tests, 197 one-dayers and 36 T20s.
At one stage, he was England’s leading ODI run-scorer of all-time before being surpassed, first by Ian Bell and then Eoin Morgan, although he remains their most capped player in the format.
It was a third championship crown in six years for Durham and Collingwood while he also played a part in their Royal London One-Day Cup triumph in 2014.
A natural athletic ability saw him continue to play well into his 40s, helping to stabilise Durham after their relegation in 2016 following much-publicised financial issues.
“I have achieved so much with both Durham and England; far more than I ever imagined and I feel extremely privileged to have had such a long and rewarding career,” he added.
“I am excited about what the future holds for me and am looking forward to new challenges.”
Collingwood, who amassed 16,891 runs and 164 wickets in 304 first-class appearances, was rewarded for his contribution to the club earlier this year with the naming of the Paul Collingwood Pavilion.
Durham chairman Sir Ian Botham said: “Paul is one of the greatest all-rounders to ever grace the game of cricket and to have him playing at Durham, his home county, for all these years has been an absolute privilege.
“Both on and off the field he has class, intelligence and charm and it is a testament to his incredible commitment and work ethic that he has been able to compete at the top level for the amount of time that he has.
“Colly is Mr Durham and it will be very strange without him, but on behalf of myself and everyone at Durham County Cricket Club, I would like to wish him the very best in whatever the future holds.”