Sam Billings named Kent vice-captain from next season

Sam Billings has been named Kent’s vice-captain from next season after signing
a new contract with the county.

The 26-year-old wicket keeper-batsman came through the ranks at Kent and will be Sam Northeast’s deputy in 2018, Kent have not disclosed the length of the new deal.

Billings – who has predominantly been used as a batsman in his 26 England appearances, 13 each in one-day and Twenty20 internationals – led Kent for the first time in the tour match against Windies in August.

“I’ve been at the club since I was eight. My family are Kent through and through so it means a lot to play for my home county,” said Billings.

“I’m a senior player now and enjoyed the experience of captaining the side and helping the younger or less experienced guys where I can.”

Billings’ commitments in the Indian Premier League and with England this summer limited him to six County Championship appearances, although he was an ever-present for Kent in the T20 Blast.

Billings has also featured in Australia’s Big Bash League and the Pakistan Super League, experiences he feels have made him a better player.”I know the Kent supporters would like to see me play a full season of county cricket but these opportunities overseas don’t come around too often and they improve me as a cricketer,” he added.

“Pressure situations are easier because of my experience in the IPL and overseas tournaments, so it can only help Kent and hopefully England in the long run.

“I’ve still got a lot to prove, particularly in red-ball cricket but I’ve averaged 44 over the last two seasons in first-class cricket so I feel my game is progressing year-on-year.”

Kent head coach Matt Walker added: “Sam’s now a senior player in our dressing room and his experiences overseas have helped his game. I’m excited to see him continue his development as a Kent player.”