Sam Billings

Sam Billings
Personal information
Full name Sam William Billings
Born (1991-06-15) 15 June 1991
Pembury, Kent, England
Nickname Bilbo, Billo, Rupert[1]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Role Wicket-keeper, Batsman
International information
National side
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
2011–present Kent
2011–2012 Loughborough MCCU
2016–present Islamabad United
2016 Delhi Daredevils
Career statistics
Competition ODI T20I FC LA
Matches 6 7 45 65
Runs scored 152 99 1,982 2,146
Batting average 30.40 16.50 33.03 45.65
100s/50s 0/1 0/1 3/10 5/14
Top score 62 53 171 175
Balls bowled 1
Wickets 0
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match n/a n/a n/a
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 1/– 5/1 124/9 54/7
Source: CricInfo, 16 October 2016

Sam William Billings (born 15 June 1991) 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. Billings has also appeared in limited overs formats for the England cricket team and has played Twenty20 franchise cricket in both the Pakistan Super League and Indian Premier League.

Early and personal life

Billings was born in Pembury, Kent and grew up on his family's farm in north Kent.[2] 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 for against the team's academy side whilst playing for Corinthian under-14s.[3] He also played racquets, squash and rugby.[2][4] His grandfather, Ron Billings, was a racquets champion and his cousin, Tom Billings, is a world ranked player of the game.[2][4] Billings attributes racquets with helping to develop his batting skills, in particular his hand-eye coordination.[4]

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.[1]

Early career

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.[5] 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.[6] This score came in his debut match against Northamptonshire.[7]

Kent career

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.[5] 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,[8] as well as playing in four matches in the 2011 Friends Provident t20.[9] After leading the county in one day runs scored in 2012,[10] Billings replaced former England wicket-keeper Jones in Kent's 2013 Friends Life t20 campaign.[10] At the end of the season he kept wicket in the County Championship, breaking Jones' string of 115 consecutive Championship appearances for Kent[11] before playing Sydney Grade Cricket for Penrith District Cricket Club during the 2013–14 English winter.[12]

Billings became the first choice wicket-keeper for Kent in the 2014 season and was awarded his county cap in August 2015.[13] He played for the MCC 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 Billings signed a contract extension with Kent.[14][15]

After sending the winter playing one-day international cricket with England and featuring in both the Pakistan Super League and Indian Premier League 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.[16] 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,[17][18][19] and made his highest score in first-class cricket.[20]

International career

Billings represented the England Lions cricket team in the 2015 off-season in South Africa, making his debut and scoring 53 against a Gauteng Invitation XI.[21][22] He was named in the provisional squad for the England cricket team before the 2015 Cricket World Cup, replacing the injured Craig Kieswetter,[23] but did not feature in the final squad for the tournament.

Billings made his One Day International debut against New Zealand as a batsman in June 2015.[24] He was trapped lbw by fellow debutant for New Zealand Mitchell Santner for 3 runs.[24] Billings played in all five of the matches in the series, all as a specialist batsman, making his highest score of 41 in the final match to help England win the series 3-2. He made his Twenty20 International debut in the same series on 23 June 2015, scoring 21 as England won by 56 runs,[25] before playing in the only T20I against Australia in 2015.

Billings made his England debut as a wicketkeeper in the first Twenty20 International against Pakistan in Dubai in November 2015. He scored 53 runs, his maiden international half-century,[26] reaching his fifty in 24 balls, before being run out 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.[27][28][29] He was adjudged man of the match for his performance during the match.[30] He went on to play in the next two games, making scores of 11 and seven, before playing for England Lions in a five match series against Pakistan A in Dubai in January 2016.[14]

After playing in one T20I match against South Africa during England's winter tour of the country, Billings 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.[31] The following May, he was named in a 30-man England Performance Squad for the 2016 domestic season[32] and in June was selected for the T20I against Sri Lanka in July 2016.[33] Later in the summer he played again for the Lions side against Pakistan A and Sri Lanka A, scoring his highest List A cricket score of 175 against Pakistan at Canterbury,[34] before touring Bangladesh with the England One Day International team in October, scoring his maiden ODI half-century in the final match of the series batting as a replacement opening batsman.[35][36][37]

Twenty20 franchise leagues

In December 2015 Billings was selected by Islamabad United in the 2016 Pakistan Super League draft.[38] 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".[39][40] He was retained by Islamabad for the 2017 season.[41]

Billings was purchased by the Delhi Daredevils in the 2016 Indian Premier League auction in February 2016 for £30,000.[42][43] He scored 54 runs on his debut for Delhi, helping the team to a victory over Kolkata Knight Riders,[44][45][46] before going on to play in four further matches before Delhi were eliminated at the end of the group stage.[47][48] Despite playing in only five matches in the tournament, Billings saw the experience as one which would help him "improve as a player".[49] In particular, he cited the influence of Delhi's coach Rahul Dravid and had approached the IPL, which he rated as a "phenomenal experience",[16] with the intention of developing his skills, particularly against spin bowling.[49][50][51]

In November 2016 Billings signed for the Sydney Sixers to play in the 2016–17 Big Bash League in Australia.[52][53]

Career best performances

As of 16 October 2016, 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.[54] 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.[55][56] His third first-class century came against Gloucestershire in August 2016 and is his current high score of 171.[20] He 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 of 46 balls against Somerset in a 2014 Royal London One-Day Cup match.[57] 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.[34]

As of 16 October 2016

Best Career Batting Performances
Format Score Fixture Venue Season
First-class cricket 171 Kent v Gloucestershire Bristol 2016
List A cricket 175 England Lions v Sri Lanka A Canterbury 2016
Twenty20 cricket 61 not out England Lions v Pakistan A Dubai 2015


  1. 1 2 Player profile: Sam Billings, Loughborough MCCU. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  2. 1 2 3 The inevitable rise of Billings, ESPN cricinfo, 2015-01-31. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  3. Bauckham D (2016) The Last Corinthian, 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  4. 1 2 3 Sam Billings looks to De Villiers’ method as he prepares for England debut, The Guardian, 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  5. 1 2 First-Class Matches played by Sam Billings, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  6. First-class Batting and Fielding For Each Team by Sam Billings, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  7. Harman J (2016) Play it again, Sam, CricInfo, 2016-08-14 (previously published in All Out Cricket). Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  8. List A Matches played by Sam Billings, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  9. Twenty20 Matches played by Sam Billings, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  10. 1 2 Sam Billings aiming to seize FLt20 opportunity, BBC Sport, 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  11. Kent replace Geraint Jones with Sam Billings, The Times, 2013-11-17. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  12. Cheng K (2013) English county cricketer Sam Billings arrives in Penrith, Penrith Press, 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  13. Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Billings awarded county caps, Kent County Cricket Club, 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  14. 1 2 Hoad A (2016) England wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings has signed a contract extension at Kent, Kent Online, 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  15. England's Sam Billings signs Kent contract extension, BBC Sport, 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  16. 1 2 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.
  17. Claydon and Billings combine to hand Kent control, CricInfo, 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  18. County Championship: Kent's Mitch Claydon takes five Worcestershire wickets, BBC Sport, 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  19. Kent victory dents Worcestershire promotion hopes, CricInfo, 2016-08-06. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  20. 1 2 Ehantharajah V (2016) Billings takes satisfaction in epic show of restraint, CricInfo, 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  21. Riley and Billings named in England Lions squads, Canterbury Times, 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  22. Jonathan Trott hits unbeaten 79 in England Lions draw against Gauteng, The Guardian, 2015-01-07. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  23. Sam Billings added to England's provisional World Cup squad, BBC sport website, 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  24. 1 2 New Zealand tour of England, 1st ODI: England v New Zealand at Birmingham, Jun 9, 2015, ESPNcricinfo 2015-06-09. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  25. Electric England sweep to victory, ESPN cricinfo, 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  26. 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.
  27. Billings and Plunkett inspire England win, ESPN cricinfo, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  28. Sam Billings leads England to T20 win over Pakistan in Dubai, BBC sport website, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  29. Billings revels in match-winning knock, England and Wales Cricket Board, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  30. Billings wins man-of-the-match with maiden England 50, Kent County Cricket Club, 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  31. England World T20 squad: Liam Dawson in, Chris Woakes out, BBC Sport website, 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  32. Sam Billings in England Performance squad, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  33. Sam Billings in England T20 squad to play Sri Lanka, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  34. 1 2 Billings 175 sets up comprehensive Lions win, CricInfo, 2016-07-24. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  35. Hopps D (2016) Duckett and Billings show their promise to earn series win, CricInfo, 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  36. Isam M (2016) Buttler praises stand-in openers, CricInfo, 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Billings labels PSL 'cracking experience', The Express Tribune, 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  40. 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.
  41. Kevin Pietersen set to play in Pakistan Super League for Quetta Gladiators again, Bt Sport, 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  42. Indian Premier League: Jos Buttler bought by Mumbai Indians, BBC Sport website, 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  43. Billings revels in T20 adventure land, Cricinfo, 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  44. Sam Billings swipes 50 on IPL debut for Delhi Daredevils, Canterbury Times, 2016-04-30. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  45. IPL 2016: Cashing in on foreign exchange, Indian Express, 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  46. Venugopal A (2016) Off field bonding puts Billings at ease on the field with Daredevils, CricInfo, 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  47. IPL 2016: Sam Billings heading home after Delhi Daredevils miss out, Canterbury Times, 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  48. Pennell M (2016) Sam Billings pleased to be back in Kent after ‘crazy’ IPL experience, Kent News, 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  49. 1 2 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.
  50. Viswanath G (2016) Sam Billings relishes involvement in ‘massive’ IPL, Sport Star Live, 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  51. Sam is happy to follow IPL route to top Billings, The Cricket Paper, 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  52. Sam Billings signed for Sydney Sixers, Kent County Cricket Club, 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  53. 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.
  54. Hoad A (2011) Kent County Cricket Club wicketkeeper Sam Billings hits maiden century for Loughborough MCCU against Northamptonshire, Kent Online, 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  55. Billings disappointed to fall for 99, Kent County Cricket Club, 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  56. Billings elated for maiden century, Kent Sports News, 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  57. Sam Billings wins Walter Lawrence trophy for fastest century in County cricket, Kent County Cricket Club, 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
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