Collingwood’s temporary stint is the second significant appointment by the England and Wales Cricket Board in a matter of hours, following the announcement that former Test seamer Angus Fraser is to join a three-man selection panel at the start of next month.
Collingwood, 37, was England captain when they won this country’s only global trophy to date – the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in 2010.
It will be England’s first overseas tour since the controversial axing of the talismanic Kevin Pietersen last week, his adopted country severing all ties with him to effectively end his international career.
Yesterday, Pietersen became a Delhi Daredevil once more – proving a snip at £880,000 after day one of the auction in Bangalore.
But in an auction also notable for a wipe-out by other England players – all 10 of whom were unsold – and million pound-plus deals for Indians Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Karthik, the South Africa-born batsman’s market value proved significantly less than some of the more fanciful estimates put about before bidding began.
Yorkshire’s latest signing Aaron Finch also went for a big price yesterday, as he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for £319,000. He will form a partnership with former White Rose player David Miller in Hyderabad.
As an elite marquee player, Pietersen soon knew his fate as one of the first lots on Wednesday morning.
The 33-year-old quickly tweeted his satisfaction, despite turning out to be not quite the “million-pound asset” England spoke of last winter – before deciding a few weeks later they would be better off after all without him.
Pietersen, who agreed a summer contract to stay with Surrey earlier this week, will continue his association with the Delhi franchise when the IPL gets under way for seven-and-a-half weeks in April and May.
That, of course, is no longer of any concern to England – who stipulated, after their 5-0 Ashes trouncing in Australia, that all prospective Test and one-day international players will be expected to demonstrate their credentials in county cricket in May.
Almost a team full of Pietersen’s fellow England-qualified players have not yet found a franchise, and their unavailability for the full campaign might have been a factor.
Alex Hales, Samit Patel, Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright and Ian Bell were among those who went unsold – although the maximum base price the Nottinghamshire pair had to agree with their county, in the deal which allowed them to enter the auction, might have played a part.
If they feature on a retained list when the franchises have the pick of all unsold players, they will still have an outside chance of being picked up in round two of the auction today.
There were no such complications for Pietersen, whose contract was sealed when Delhi reached for their ‘right to match’ card after Sunrisers Hyderabad beat all other bids in the auction’s earliest exchanges.
Pietersen was unable to play for Delhi last year, because of a knee injury which ruled him out of all cricket for three months.
He previously played for both them and Royal Challengers Bangalore but was up for grabs this time after Delhi chose not to retain any of their 2013 squad.