Kent T20 captain Billings signs white-ball contract until end of 2025 season


Sam Billings has signalled his intention to step back from red-ball cricket after signing a white-ball-only contract with Kent. Billings said that he had “tried juggling all formats” but had found it “very challenging personally” and had taken the decision ahead of the arrival of his first child.

The contract extension, which runs until at least the end of the 2025 season, will see Billings captain Kent in the T20 Blast and also allow him to pursue overseas opportunities in franchise cricket, according to a statement by the club.

“I’m delighted to remain a Kent cricketer for the foreseeable future,” Billings said. “Kent Cricket means a huge amount to me and I’m very grateful for the club’s openness and understanding during discussions around my future.

“In an ever-changing landscape of our sport, I’ve tried juggling all formats for some time and have found it very challenging personally on and off the field. With the addition of a child on the way it feels like the right time to try and find more balance so I can perform at my best whenever I pull on the Kent shirt.

“As always, the support of the members and everyone at the club has been brilliant. I’m always most proud to wear the Kent jersey and represent the club at every opportunity. I’m thrilled to be the Kent Spitfires’ T20 Captain and I’m looking forward to focusing on that format in 2024 and beyond.”

Billings has played three Test matches for England, most recently in the summer of 2022, as well as being capped 65 times in limited-overs internationals, but is set to spend an increasing amount of time maximising his opportunities to play in T20 leagues.

Despite being Kent club captain, he made himself unavailable for selection in the County Championship during the 2023 season after experiencing a trough of form with the bat that saw him average 9.20 from six matches. He subsequently stood down from captaining the red-ball side, with Daniel Bell-Drummond appointed as his successor.

Billings, who led Oval Invincibles to their first Hundred title last summer, is currently in action in the Big Bash League with Brisbane Heat and will be among the English players up for auction in the IPL next week.

In first-class cricket, he scored 3628 runs in 88 matches, with six hundreds and an average of 31.27.

Simon Cook, Kent’s Director of Cricket, said: “This new agreement reflects a mutual commitment from both Kent Cricket and Sam to navigate a fast-changing cricketing world.

“He is a well-travelled and well-respected player that has spent a lot of time overseas, winning the biggest prizes in T20 cricket, and building relationships with players who have in turn become Kent Spitfires off the back of his off-field work.

“Sam is an outstanding white-ball cricketer and we’re extremely pleased that he will be a Spitfire for at least another two seasons.”


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