Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Sam Billings says he is back from the IPL as a bet­ter player and keen to add to Kent’s ‘win­ning for­mula’, writes Alex Hoad. Billings – who turns 25 on June 15 – ad­mit­ted he had en­joyed a whirl­wind few months af­ter play­ing for Eng­land Lions and in the Pak­istan Su­per League in Dubai, be­ing part of Eng­land’s T20 tour of South Africa and World T20 squad and be­ing drafted by the Delhi Dare­dev­ils to play in his first In­dian Pre­mier League last month. He re­turned to Can­ter­bury last week and went straight into the side for Sun­day’s clash with Le­ices­ter­shire, re­plac­ing stand-in Adam Rouse who had more dis­missals than any other wick­et­keeper so far this sea­son. Billings said: “It’s good to be home and great to join back up with the lads. “They’ve had a fan­tas­tic start to the year and hope­fully I can come back and add to this win­ning for­mula.” Billings said the im­pact of new cap­tain Sam North­east was al­ready be­ing felt and the club had a more pro­fes­sional feel. He added: “Speaking to many of the guys, it’s been the best start to the year in terms of pre-sea­son and prep that they have been a part of.” Billings said he was keen to show­case his First-Class skills and re­vealed his am­bi­tions to be con­sid­ered among the best in the world in Test cricket. He said: “I av­er­age about 30 and for me that’s not good enough. I need that to be 40 at least. “I’ve only played two full years of First-Class cricket, though whereas I’ve had four or five of white-ball. “Of course I want to im­prove all as­pects of my game and def­i­nitely my Test as­pi­ra­tion is still strong. “Peo­ple de­velop at dif­fer­ent times. I have just de­vel­oped my white ball quicker than other for­mats. “Of his IPL ex­ploits – in­clud­ing a half-cen­tury on de­but – the first player in four years to do so – Billings added: “It’s only when you sit down at home you think ‘that was a whirl­wind few months’. It was a phe­nom­e­nal ex­pe­ri­ence and one I will cher­ish for the rest of my life. “Rub­bish shoul­ders with the best play­ers in the world was great to be a part of and there is no doubt my game has im­proved.”

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4358831

Ge­orge Ka­murasi – set to leave Home­lands Ken­ning­ton Ju­niors un­der-13s (am­ber) bat­tle against Ash­ford United at Ken­ning­ton’s char­ity foot­ball tour­na­ment at Ash­ford Hockey Club at the week­end. See page 60

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