- Batsman, Wicket Keeper
- Nick name
- Sam Billings
- Batting style
- Right Hand bat
- Fielding position
- Current Team
- Indian Premier League 2016
- June 15, 1991
Sam Billings, an inventive cricketer, and fiercely-competitive all-round sportsman, made his England debut against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 2015, part of a new-look England side committed to adventurous cricket to banish the depression of a failed and conservative World Cup campaign. Billings played as a specialist batsman, intended to add panache to the closing overs and to England's outfielding, abandoning the keeping gloves that had helped him to make his name.
He played five ODIs and two T20s without making fifty but he fitted the design of a more high-energy England side. He also featured in one of the quirkier stories of the summer when his Kent teammate Joe Denly tweeted a picture of a supposed lookalike stricken by sunburn when Billings was on England duty and The Sun swallowed the story without a second thought.
Billings follows a long line of illustrious Kent wicketkeepers including Les Ames, ‘Hopper’ Levett, Godfrey Evans, Alan Knott and Geraint Jones. His passion for cricket has communicated itself to the Kent crowd in a manner that suggests he might one day stand confidently alongside such exalted company. He is consumed by sport: an all-round games player who turned down a football trial with Tottenham Hotspur to go on a cricket tour at county level, woke up in an infirmary after being spear tackled in a rugby union game, achieved county junior level in tennis, and is highly adept at squash and racquets – his cousin Tom Billings is high in the racquet world rankings. No wonder then that he is so fleet footed around a cricket field.
His growing reputation was illustrated when he called into England’s 30-man provisional squad for the 2015 World Cup when Craig Kieswetter withdraw with eye problems. That Billings had become a player to be reckoned with was apparent from the moment he blitzed an unbeaten 135 from 58 balls against Somerset in a 50-over tie at Canterbury. Marcus Trescothick, Somerset’s former England captain, identified Billings as a potential rival for Jos Buttler, quite an accolade considering Buttler’s Somerset roots, and said: “Billings absolutely annihilated us.”
Billings, 23, replaced the former England gloveman Jones behind the stumps at the start of Kent’s 2014 Championship season and emphasised his 50-over potential in the Royal London One-Day Cup, becoming the leading run-scorer in the competition, Only his T20 performances disappointed.
An innings of 143 off 113 balls against Derbyshire at Canterbury – the highest one-day total by a Kent batsman at the St Lawrence Ground – was the highlight of a promising 2012 season. Billings had also scored a century, for Loughborough MCCU, on his first-class debut, against Northants in 2011. Having been the county’s leading run-maker in T20 as well as CB40 in 2012, he went on an ECB scholarship to Australia over the winter of 2012-13. His burgeoning expertise behind the stumps gave an appealing extra dimension to his game.
Indian Premier League 2016