Sam Billings playing for Kent in 2015
|Full name||Samuel William Billings|
15 June 1991|
|Nickname||Bilbo, Billo, Rupert|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|ODI debut (cap 242)||9 June 2015 v New Zealand|
|ODI shirt no.||7|
|T20I debut (cap 71)||23 June 2015 v New Zealand|
|T20I shirt no.||7|
|Domestic team information|
|2018||Chennai Super Kings|
Source: CricInfo, 20 September 2018
Samuel William Billings (born 15 June 1991), known as Sam Billings, is an English professional cricketer. Billings is a right-handed batsman who fields as a wicket-keeper. He was born in Pembury in Kent and plays for Kent County Cricket Club. He has played for the county since he was eight years old and in October 2017 was appointed as the vice-captain of the team before being appointed as captain in January 2018, replacing Sam Northeast.
Billings is regarded as a versatile cricketer who studies the game intensely and has an imaginative range of scoring shots. He has appeared in limited overs formats for the England cricket team and has played Twenty20 franchise cricket in the Pakistan Super League, Indian Premier League and in the Big Bash League in Australia.
Early and personal life
Billings was born in Pembury, Kent and grew up on his family's farm in north Kent. He developed as a good all-round sportsman, playing tennis for Kent and being offered a trial for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club after scoring a hat-trick against the team's academy side whilst playing for Corinthian under-14s. He also played racquets, squash and rugby. His grandfather, Ron Billings, was a racquets champion and his cousin, Tom Billings, is a world ranked player of the game. Billings attributes racquets with helping to develop his batting skills, in particular his hand-eye coordination.
Billings attended Haileybury College in Hertfordshire, appearing regularly for their cricket First XI throughout his school career. He studied for a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University. Billings has said that he was "nowhere near good enough" to become a professional cricketer before his time at university and credits it with encouraging him to work hard to develop his talent.
Billings made his first-class debut for Loughborough MCCU against Northamptonshire in 2011. He made a further first-class appearance for the team in 2011, against Leicestershire. In his four first-class matches for Loughborough MCCU, he scored 321 runs at an average of 45.85, with a high score of 131. This score came in his debut match against Northamptonshire.
Whilst at university Billings was also a member of the Kent squad, and he made his debut for the county in May 2011 in a first-class match against his university side, Loughborough MCCU. During the 2011 season he also made his List A debut for Kent against the Netherlands in the 2011 Clydesdale Bank 40, standing in for regular wicket-keeper Geraint Jones. Billings made three further List A appearances in the 2011 season, as well as playing in four matches in the 2011 Friends Provident t20. After leading the county in one day runs scored in 2012, Billings replaced former England wicket-keeper Jones in Kent's 2013 Friends Life t20 campaign. At the end of the season he kept wicket in the County Championship, breaking Jones' string of 115 consecutive Championship appearances for Kent before playing Sydney Grade Cricket for Penrith District Cricket Club during the 2013–14 English winter.
Billings became the first choice wicket-keeper for Kent in the 2014 season. He played for in the champion county match in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the 2015 season before scoring 693 runs at an average of 29.80 in the 2015 County Championship season and making his England One Day and T20 debuts. He was awarded his Kent county cap in August 2015 during the annual Canterbury Cricket Week and signed a contract extension with Kent, in January 2016.
After spending the winter playing one-day international cricket with England and featuring in both the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 competitions, Billings returned to Kent at the end of May having missed six County Championship matches as well as the start of both one-day competitions. During the 2016 season he became only the second Kent wicket-keeper to take seven catches in an innings and the tenth to claim nine dismissals in a first-class match, both one short of equalling the record for the county, and made his highest score in first-class cricket.
Billings spent the following winter playing for England in Bangladesh, Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League and for England again in India and the West Indies as well as once again playing in the PSL and IPL. England duty again kept him away from Kent for parts of the 2017 season and he played in only six of the county's County Championship matches during the season, although he was ever present during the T20 Blast. He averaged 43.66 in the Championship games he played and captained the side in a tour match against the West Indies in August. At the end of the season he signed a new contract with Kent and was appointed officially as the team's vice-captain.
Following Sam Northeast's removal as Kent captain in early 2018 Billings was appointed to the post as his replacement, despite some disquiet about his participation in the 2018 Indian Premier League. This meant that he missed the first part of the County Championship and One Day Cup seasons. The team was captained by Joe Denly in Billings' absence. Later in the season Billings once again signed a contract extension.
Billings was first called into the England Performance Programme in 2014 and took part in a training camp in Sri Lanka during the represented the English winter. He had played for an ECB under-16 side in 2006 and for England age group sides at under-17 and under-18 level before touring Bangladesh with the England under-19 side in 2009.
He was named in the squad for the England Lions cricket team in the 2014/15 off-season in South Africa, making his debut and scoring 53 against a Gauteng Invitation XI in January 2015 and going on to play for the Lions in four of the five unofficial one-day international matches on the tour. In late 2014 he had been named in the provisional squad for the England cricket team before the 2015 Cricket World Cup, replacing the injured Craig Kieswetter, but did not feature in the final squad for the tournament.
Billings made his senior England international debut in an ODI against the touring New Zealand team in June 2015, playing as a batsman and scoring three runs. After playing in all five ODIs during the series, he made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut on 23 June 2015, scoring 21 runs. He was an unused member of the ODI squad against Australia later the same summer before playing in the only T20I against the Australians at the end of August.
After the New Zealand series Billing was a regular in England ODI and T20I squads but played infrequently for two years, never appearing in two consecutive England ODI teams until March 2017. He made his England debut as a wicketkeeper in the first T20I against Pakistan in Dubai in November 2015. He made his maiden international half-century in the match, reaching his fifty in 24 balls, before being run out for 53 off the last ball of the England innings. He took two catches and completed a stumping during the Pakistan innings as England won by 14 runs. He was adjudged man of the match for his performance during the match.
He played for the Lions against Pakistan A in Dubai in January 2016, against South Africa in 2016 and was selected for the England squad for the 2016 World Twenty20 competition. He did not make an appearance for England during the competition, other than as a substitute fielder. He was named in a 30-man England Performance Squad for the 2016 domestic season and played for the full England T20 side against Sri Lanka in July 2016 and for the Lions side against Pakistan A and Sri Lanka A, scoring his highest List A cricket score of 175 against Pakistan at Canterbury, before touring Bangladesh with the England One Day International team in October, scoring his maiden ODI half-century with a score of 62 in the final match of the series batting as a replacement opening batsman, to help England to a 2-1 series win.
In early 2017 Billings was part of the England ODI and T20 squad which toured India. He played in the opening List A match of the tour against India A again as a specialist batsman, scoring 93 runs, and in an ODI and T20 match on the tour before playing back to back ODI matches for the first time since his debut series against the West Indies. He was an unused member of the England squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy but played against Ireland, South Africa and West Indies during the summer of 2017. In early 2018 he joined the England squad in Australia for the ODI element of their tour, although he did not appear in any of the matches, before playing in the 2017–18 Trans-Tasman Tri-Series T20 matches against Australia and New Zealand in February. He was, again, an unused member of the England squad for the ODI series against New Zealand which followed.
Twenty20 franchise leagues
Billings is a regular participant in Twenty20 franchise leagues around the world. He has played for teams in the Pakistan Super League, Australian Big Bash and Indian Premier League and was scheduled to play in the first season of the abortive South African T20 Global League. He has spoken of his belief that playing T20 cricket with many of the best cricketers in the world is effectively playing international cricket and that players who do so are "going to improve, no doubt", with franchise leagues "fast forward" the growth of cricketers.
In December 2015 Billings was selected by Islamabad United in the 2016 Pakistan Super League draft, the first of three overseas Twenty20 leagues he took part in during 2016. The tournament took place in the United Arab Emirates in February 2016 and was the inaugural season of the competition. Billings played in five matches for Islamabad, scoring 34 runs with a top score of 26, but saw the opportunity to learn from players such as Australian Test wicket-keeper Brad Haddin as "invaluable". He was retained by Islamabad for the 2017 season, playing in the team's first five matches of the tournament before leaving to join the England ODI team in the Caribbean. In 2018 Billings was with England in New Zealand at the start of the tournament and, despite joining Islamabad towards the end of the group stage, did not play a match during the PSL season.
Billings was purchased by Delhi Daredevils in the 2016 Indian Premier League auction in February 2016 for £30,000. He scored 54 runs on his debut for Delhi, helping the team to a victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, before going on to play in four further matches before Delhi were eliminated at the end of the group stage. Despite playing in only five matches in the tournament, Billings again saw the experience as one which would help him "improve as a player". In particular, he cited the influence of Delhi's coach Rahul Dravid and had approached the IPL, which he rated as a "phenomenal experience", with the intention of developing his skills, particularly against spin bowling. He has credited the experience of working with players from around the world as a major factor in the improvement of his game, from the use of different training methods to eating more effectively. Billings was retained by Delhi for the 2017 Indian Premier League with the intention of him playing until 1 May in order to return to England to play against Ireland and prepare for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
In November 2016 Billings signed to play for Sydney Sixers in the 2016–17 Big Bash League in Australia. He made his debut for the Sixers in the opening match of the tournament, taking two catches as the team beat Sydney Thunder by nine wickets. After appearing in the Sixers first five matches of the tournament, Billings left the team to join the England squad in India at the beginning of January 2017. He batted four times for Sydney, averaging 31.25 runs.
In August 2017 Billings was selected by Durban Qalandars in round 2 of the inaugural draft for the T20 Global League which was scheduled to take place in South Africa during late 2017. Cricket South Africa cancelled the 2017 tournament in October after difficulties selling broadcasting and sponsorship rights for the tournament.
After playing again for Sydney in the Big Bash League in 2017/18, Billings was bought by the Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 IPL auction for £71,000. Although he scored a match-winning 56 runs in Chennai's second match of the tournament, a rather disappointing tournament saw him score 108 runs at an average of 13.6 in 10 matches and he did not play in the final as Chennai won the title.
Career best performances
As of September 2017, Billings has made three first-class and five List A centuries. The first was a score of 131 made on his first-class debut for Loughborough MCCU against Northamptonshire at the beginning of the 2011 season. He scored his first first-class century for Kent in July 2015 against Essex at Tunbridge Wells, having been out for 99 earlier in the same month against Surrey. His third first-class century came against Gloucestershire in August 2016 and is his current high score of 171.
Billings has scored five List A cricket centuries and in 2014 shared the Walter Lawrence Trophy for the quickest century in County cricket during the season, scored off 46 balls against Somerset in a 2014 Royal London One-Day Cup match. His highest List A score of 175 was made for England Lions against Sri Lanka A at his home ground of Canterbury during July 2016 whilst his highest Twenty20 score of 95 not out was made for Kent against Hampshire at Beckenham in July 2018.
As of 11 September 2018
|Best Career Batting Performances|
|First-class cricket||171||Kent v Gloucestershire||Bristol||2016|
|List A cricket||175||England Lions v Sri Lanka A||Canterbury||2016|
|Twenty20 cricket||95 not out||Kent v Hampshire||Beckenham||2018|
Support for cricketing causes
Billings has been involved in supporting the development of cricket by charitable organisations and throughout the world. He has supported activities organised by the Lord's Taverners and worked with disabilities cricket teams with the charity and with NatWest’s Cricket has no boundaries campaign. He is an ambassador for the Taverners and launched a cricket ambassador programme for them in 2016. He has worked with youth cricket teams and in October 2017 visited Rwanda to play in a T20 cricket match to mark the opening of the Rwanda Cricket Stadium. He is a patron of cricket in Rwanda.
- Player profile: Sam Billings, Loughborough MCCU. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
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- Kent and England wicketkeeper batsman Sam Billings hopes to add to club's winning formula after return from IPL, Kent Online, 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- Claydon and Billings combine to hand Kent control, CricInfo, 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
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- Kent victory dents Worcestershire promotion hopes, CricInfo, 2016-08-06. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
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- Hopps S (2014) Billings replaces Kieswetter in England 30, CricInfo, 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Riley and Billings play in England Performance Programme win in Sri Lanka, Kent County Cricket Club, 2014-12-14.
- Miles T (2014) Kent’s Sam Billings ‘chuffed’ at joining World Cup squad, Kent News, 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Goodman and Billings to be monitored by England U19s, Kent County Cricket Club, 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Edwards R (2017) 'The more you play with the best, the better you become' - Sam Billings is relishing life at the top, The Independent, 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Riley and Billings named in England Lions squads, Canterbury Times, 2014-10-28.
- Jonathan Trott hits unbeaten 79 in England Lions draw against Gauteng, The Guardian, 2015-01-07. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- Sam Billings added to England's provisional World Cup squad, BBC sport website, 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- New Zealand tour of England, 1st ODI: England v New Zealand at Birmingham, Jun 9, 2015, CricInfo, 2015-06-09. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
- Electric England sweep to victory, Cricinfo, 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
- Berry S (2017) West Indies vs England: Fast-learner Sam Billings out to add substance to style, Daily Telegraph, 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Gidley A (2015) Sam Billings hits first international half century in exciting style as England beat Pakistan in Dubai, Kent Online, 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Billings and Plunkett inspire England win, CricInfo, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
- Sam Billings leads England to T20 win over Pakistan in Dubai, BBC sport website, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- Billings revels in match-winning knock, England and Wales Cricket Board, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- Billings wins man-of-the-match with maiden England 50, Kent County Cricket Club, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- England World T20 squad: Liam Dawson in, Chris Woakes out, BBC Sport website, 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- Sam Billings in England Performance squad, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- Sam Billings in England T20 squad to play Sri Lanka, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Billings 175 sets up comprehensive Lions win, CricInfo, 2016-07-24. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- Hopps D (2016) Duckett and Billings show their promise to earn series win, CricInfo, 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- Isam M (2016) Buttler praises stand-in openers, CricInfo, 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- Hoad A (2016) Kent's Sam Billings scores 62 as opener for England to help secure four-wicket win and series victory in Bangladesh, Kent Online, 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
- Venugopal A (2017) Billings' 93 helps England XI hunt down 305, CricInfo, 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
- Martin A (2017) Sam Billings up for a scrap to keep his England spot from Alex Hales, The Guardian, 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- SW Billings, combined Test, ODI and T20I records, CricInfo. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Ananthanarayanan N (2018) IPL 2018: England’s Sam Billings for ‘fast forward’ T20 leagues as Counties fume, Hindustan Times, 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- Kent and England star Sam Billings drafted by Islamabad United ahead of first Pakistan Super League in UAE in February, Kent Online, 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- Billings labels PSL 'cracking experience', The Express Tribune, 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Reynolds C (2016) Pakistan Super League: Sam Billings hoping Brad Haddin tutelage prepares him for T20, The Independent, 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Kevin Pietersen set to play in Pakistan Super League for Quetta Gladiators again, Bt Sport, 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
- Sam Billings retained by Delhi Daredevils for IPL 2017, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-12-19. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
- Hoad A (2016) Kent and England wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings to miss start of English season after IPL return to Delhi Daredevils, Kent Online, 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- Indian Premier League: Jos Buttler bought by Mumbai Indians, BBC Sport website, 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
- Billings revels in T20 adventure land, Cricinfo, 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
- Sam Billings swipes 50 on IPL debut for Delhi Daredevils, Canterbury Times, 2016-04-30. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- IPL 2016: Cashing in on foreign exchange, Indian Express, 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Venugopal A (2016) Off field bonding puts Billings at ease on the field with Daredevils, CricInfo, 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- IPL 2016: Sam Billings heading home after Delhi Daredevils miss out, Canterbury Times, 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Pennell M (2016) Sam Billings pleased to be back in Kent after ‘crazy’ IPL experience, Kent News, 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Indian Premier League: England's Jos Buttler and Sam Billings retained for 2017, BBC Sport, 2016-12-19. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- Singh S (2016) IPL 9: Will be stupid to not pick Dravid's brain, says Billings, The Times of India, 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Viswanath G (2016) Sam Billings relishes involvement in ‘massive’ IPL, Sport Star Live, 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Sam is happy to follow IPL route to top Billings, The Cricket Paper, 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Stokes, Woakes, Buttler to miss Ireland ODIs, CricInfo, 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
- Sam Billings signed for Sydney Sixers, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- Hoad A (2016) Kent and England star Sam Billings signs for Sydney Sixers ahead of Big Bash League, Kent Online, 2016-11-29. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- Australian Associated Press (2016) Big Bash League preview: all the ins and outs for the 2016-17 tournament, The Guardian, 2016-12-19. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- Billings takes two catches in BBL debut win, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- Billings bows out BBL with Brisbane win, Kent County Cricket Club, 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
- Pollard chosen first overall by Bloemfontein in SA T20 Global draft, CricInfo, 2017-08-27. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
- Kent duo in overseas T20 leagues, Kent County Cricket Club, 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
- Vice T (2017) Cricket SA's T20 Global League put on hold, The Times (South Africa), 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
- CSA drop a bombshell: the T20 Global League is postponed, The Citizen (South Africa), 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
- IPL: Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales miss out on contracts, BBC Sport, 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
- Berry S (2018) Sam Billings defends playing in IPL after fury from Kent fans, The Daily Telegraph, 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
- Bloom B (2018) How have England's players fared at the 2018 IPL?, The Daily Telegraph, 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
- Fordham J (2018) Sam Billings set to feature in Kent's next One-Day Cup game, Kent Online, 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
- Peesara A (2018) Afghanistan Premier League 2018 – All you need to know from the player draft, CricTracker, 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
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- Billings disappointed to fall for 99, Kent County Cricket Club, 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
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- Sam Billings wins Walter Lawrence trophy for fastest century in County cricket, Kent County Cricket Club, 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- Billings seals it for Kent - but it's Claydon who is soaking up the last-ball nerves, CricInfo, 2018-07-13. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
- Harman J (2017) Sam Billings: My one day record stands up against anyone, All Out Cricket, 2017-08-15. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- May L (2017) Young cricketers get tips from Kent and England batsman Sam Billings at Disability Cricket Finals, Bexley Times, 2017-10-17. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- England Cricketer, Sam Billings Teams Up With Lord’s Taverners, Able, 2016. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- Wilson J (2016) Chance to Shine: ECB set to double its investment in future of cricket, BBC Sport, 2016-11-02. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- Rowley S (2017) Sam Billings discovers the treasures of the Plaxtol Pirates, Sevenoaks Sports, 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- Hoult N (2017) Rwanda cricket's field of dreams becomes a reality, The Daily Telegraph, 2017-10-27. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- Rwanda Cricket [RwandaCricket] A big thank you to @sambillings for taking part last week. We are also delighted to announce him as our new patron! #cricketbuildshope, (Tweet), via Twitter, 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
| Kent County Cricket Club captain