Sam Billings extends Kent contract and appointed vice-captain

10 October 2017 08:54

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

The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman came through the ranks at Kent and will be Sam Northeast's deputy in 2018, having put pen to paper on a deal in which the length has not been disclosed.

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 West Indies in August.

He said: "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.

"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 Specsavers County Championship appearances, although he was an ever-present for Kent in the NatWest T20 Blast.

One of England's most seasoned campaigners on the franchise circuit, 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."

Source: PA