Billings added to England Ashes squad
Billings added to England Ashes squad

Kent captain and wicketkeeper batsman Sam Billings has been added to England’s Ashes squad as cover for Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow.

Buttler is struggling with a hand problem and Jonny Bairstow, who has also kept wicket for England, injured his thumb while scoring an unbeaten 103 on the third day of the Fourth Test in Sydney.

Billings, who is uncapped at Test level, but has been in the England T20 and One Day squads for a number of years, will be hoping he gets a chance to impress in the final Test of the series having been playing for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash.

The 30-year-old was set to fly back to the UK on Thursday before England’s T20 series against West Indies later this month, but will now join the Test squad in Sydney, subject to a period of isolation and a negative Covid-19 Test.

Billings averages 34.29 in first-class cricket with six centuries and has played 58 white-ball matches for England and has been close to selection for the Test side a number of times in recent years.

The fifth and final Ashes Test begins in Hobart on Friday 14th January.