England's Sam Billings pulls out of IPL 2023: Here's why
England batter Sam Billings has pulled out of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Billings, who was expected to play for Kolkata Knight Riders, said he is keen to play the longer format with his county club, Kent. Notably, KKR traded in Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Lockie Ferguson from IPL 2022 champions Gujarat Titans last week. Here are further details.
A look at the official statement
Have taken the tough decision that I won’t be taking part in the next IPL @KKRiders— Sam Billings (@sambillings) November 14, 2022
Looking to focus on longer format cricket at the start of the English summer with @kentcricket pic.twitter.com/7yeqcf9yi8
Why does this story matter?
- Billings, a right-handed wicket-keeper batter was roped in by the Knight Riders for Rs. 2 crore in the IPL 2022 mega auction.
- The England batter has also played for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), under the leadership of MS Dhoni, in the past.
- Billings scored 169 runs from eight innings at a strike rate of 122.46 in IPL 2022 for KKR.
KKR traded Ferguson, Gurbaz
On Sunday, KKR traded in New Zealand fast bowler Ferguson and Afghanistan wicket-keeper Gurbaz ahead of the 2023 season. The Kiwi pacer was an integral member of IPL 2022 champions, GT. Notably, Ferguson, one of the fastest bowlers presently, represented the Knight Riders in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Meanwhile, Gurbaz is expected to replace Billings in the line-up.
A look at Billings' IPL career
Billings has scored 503 runs from 30 matches in the IPL. He averages 19.35 and has a strike rate of 129.64. The tally includes three half-centuries. He has hammered 40 fours and 20 sixes in his IPL career.
IPL 2023: Key details
As per Cricbuzz, all 10 franchises have been asked to submit their list of released and retained players by November 15. The bidding event, which was earlier reported to take place on December 16, will now be conducted a week later in Kochi. DC could not qualify for playoffs last season, having finished at the fifth position with seven wins in 14 league games.
Billings has played 82 FC games
As informed by Billings, he will feature in the impending First-class season for Kent. He has slammed 3,536 runs from 82 FC games at an average of 33.35. The tally includes 6 centuries and 20 half-centuries. Billings has represented England in three Tests, 25 ODIs, and 37 T20Is. He also has an ODI century for the Three Lions.