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England’s Sam Billings has no regrets after ending red-ball cricket career | Cricket News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: England Test cricketer Sam Billings has announced his departure from the longer format of the game, bidding farewell to red-ball cricket as his Kent colleagues gear up for the County Championship campaign.
The wicketkeeper-batsman’s decision solidifies his status as a “gun for hire” in domestic limited-overs competitions worldwide, having signed a white-ball-only contract with Kent.At 32, Billings acknowledges that this move effectively closes the door on adding to his three Test caps but believes it will lead to a more balanced lifestyle and optimize his earnings.

“The definition of a career is earning a living,” remarked Billings during an event at The Oval to launch the English domestic season. “At some point, players have to make decisions based on that, and cricket is moving in only one direction.”

Billings, who led the Oval Invincibles to victory in The Hundred last year, has been a sought-after asset in various franchise leagues, including Australia’s Big Bash with Brisbane Heat and the International League T20 with Dubai Capitals.
Acknowledging the competitiveness of the franchise cricket landscape, Billings emphasized, “You’re a depreciating asset very quickly if you don’t score the runs or take wickets. But I definitely won’t wish I was out there when Kent play (Somerset) on Friday.”
Reflecting on his decision, Billings cited a congested schedule and his struggles with Kent in 2023 as contributing factors. With stiff competition from Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes for the wicketkeeping role in England’s Test side, he sees little prospect of a return.
“There’s just so much cricket that it’s very tough for these multi-format players to persist with that,” he observed, noting that his limited chances in Test cricket led to exhaustion without a breakthrough.
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Billings added, “My decision would probably have been different if I thought I had a chance of playing Test cricket for England again. But something else would have to be sacrificed.
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“I played three Tests but never really as first-choice. Only one wicketkeeper can play. It was exhausting, always trying without properly breaking through. That door has closed.”
(Inputs from AFP)





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