Sam Billings has withdrawn from all franchise cricket in a bid to ‘freshen up’ ahead of his 2020 season with Kent, after being omitted from England’s white-ball squads for their upcoming South Africa tour.
Billings, 28, did not find a mention in the 16-member squads for the ODIs or the T20Is in South Africa, which begin with the first one-dayer on February 4. England’s national selector Ed Smith stated the squads were selected “with an eye on the T20 World Cup,” which will be held in Australia in October 2020.
All the best to the lads heading to South Africa. Huge amount of depth esp in the white ball game atm. Of course disappointed not to be involved but wish the boys all the best. Will be working hard to get back in the mix (in all formats) in the near future! (1/2)
— Sam Billings (@sambillings) December 13, 2019
Taking to Twitter after his exclusion, Billings said “a break from the game to refresh, I feel, is the best decision.” Billing was the vice-captain and designated wicket-keeper of the England T20I side in New Zealand last month, but he scored only 34 runs in five innings, remaining unbeaten on two occasions.
Billings also hasn’t played an ODI since July 2018, although he came close to a recall earlier this year, when he was on the cusp of selection for the 50-over World Cup as a back-up player. However, he was sidelined after dislocating his left shoulder. He was out of action till August.
Gutted not to be involved in the England odi squad.
— Liam plunkett (@Liam628) December 13, 2019
Liam Plunkett, another absentee from the ODI squad, also expressed his disappointment at not making the cut. He has failed to make the team since helping England win the World Cup final at Lord’s. “Gutted not to be involved in the England ODI squad,” he tweeted after the announcement.
Billings, who has featured in the IPL, PSL and BBL, will now focus on Kent in the hope of making a return to the white-ball squads. In the IPL auction list, his name was absent from the 332-strong shortlist, after being released by the Chennai Super Kings in November.
“Will be working hard to get back in the mix (in all formats) in the near future,” he added in his tweet.