Sam Billings: England wicketkeeper on IPL and congested schedule

Sam Billings batting for Kent

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Sam Billings has opted out of the IPL in order to focus on playing red-ball cricket with Kent

Cricket’s congested schedule will mean fewer “all-format players moving forward”, says England’s Sam Billings.

England start a three-match one-day international (ODI) series against Australia on Thursday, four days after victory in the T20 World Cup final.

Billings, 31, who was not in the World Cup squad, has withdrawn from the Indian Premier League in order to focus on the County Championship with Kent.

“I had 18 months on the road until this year,” said the wicketkeeper-batter.

“By the time I got home, I was completely burnt out.”

Ben Foakes is the Test side’s first-choice wicketkeeper but Billings wants to put himself in the selectors’ minds should an opportunity arise – and that meant sacrificing an IPL contract.

“I think something had to give, so I’m not going to the IPL. That gives me the best chance of playing four-day cricket through the start of the summer.”

Billings’ comments come…

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