Kolkata Knight Riders and England wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings in a surprise decision’ has opted out of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023) to focus on the ‘longer format of cricket’.
“Have taken the tough decision that I won’t be taking part in the next IPL @KKRiders. Looking to focus on longer format cricket at the start of the English summer with @kentcricket,” Sam Billings said in a tweet.
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In the next tweet of the thread, the KKR batter also thanked the franchise for the opportunity.
“Thank you so much for the opportunity @kkriders! Loved every minute of it. An amazing franchise with some brilliant people. Hopefully see you again in the future,” he added.
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Sam Billings was acquired by KKR in IPL 2022 mega auction for Rs 2 crore. In IPL 2022 Sam Billings scored 169 runs at an average of 24.14. Billings has also played 25 ODIs and 37 T20Is for England. He was not part of England’s victorious T20 World Cup 2022 squad in Australia.
In the IPL career, Sam Billings has played 30 matches and scored 503 runs at an average of 19.35, with the best score of 56. The right-handed hitter has played for the Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.
Billings has off late started getting chances in England’s Test lineup under the leadership of Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. He is often picked as the backup wicketkeeper to Ben Foakes.
England’s next Test assignment is against Pakistan, where they will tour the country for three Tests and this will be a part of the World Test Championship.
On Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders have traded in New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson and Afghanistan wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz from defending champion Gujarat Titans. Gurbaz can be the Sam Billings replacement in their line-up.