Durham: Paul Collingwood, the England allrounder, has said he has not entirely abandoned thoughts of playing for his country again. Set to represent the Perth Scorchers in the upcoming Big Bash League, the 35-year-old said that he was targeting a solid performance in Australia to judge himself.
“I’m still ambitious to get back into the England side. It will be great testing myself in Australia - in their backyard, there will be a lot of pressure being an overseas pro in an Aussie team and a Pom in Australia; that will bring its own pressure,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “It’s a challenge for me and I want to keep progressing my game and put some good performances in to get back into the England team. It’s quite a good world stage, as the IPL is as well.”
Collingwood's international career has hit a roadblock after he lost the Twenty20 captaincy following his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes. In May, he had stated that if he could not force his way back into the England reckoning he would consider his future in County cricket as well. However, after having helped his county side Durham to the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Bank 40 in August, Collingwood appears to have become rejuvenated.
“I want to keep testing myself as a cricketer and I think the Big Bash is a good route to go down. If I can have a good six months of that type of cricket and do really well, then you never know,” he said. “I know England at the moment is a long way away, in terms of getting into the side. But who knows, a couple of injuries and the side needing an experienced player and I’m in top form...? You never know, I might get the call in the future. I’ve got to keep it as a goal of mine and try and get back in the side.”
Collingwood, who has made a record 197 appearances for England in one-day internationals, will be the second international star, alongside Herschelle Gibbs, on the Perth Scorchers' BBL roster. “I’m looking forward to the Big Bash. There’s a lot of experience and talent in our side - Marcus North, Simon Katich and Mitch and Shaun Marsh, who are supposed to be talented players,” he said. “You can go right the way through the side and there are some great players. I think it will be a good competition that will be well supported and it will be a good experience and I’m really looking forward to it.”