Billings appointed Kent captain
Billings appointed Kent captain

England wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings has been appointed Kent captain for the 2018 season.

The 26-year-old Kent Cricket Academy graduate will lead his boyhood club in all formats, succeeding Sam Northeast as the 35th captain in the club’s 148-year history.

Billings, currently on tour with England in Australia, said: “I am incredibly proud and honoured to have been offered the Kent captaincy. It means a lot personally as I have been involved at Kent since I was eight years of age.

“We have a very talented group of players and I am really looking forward to working with all the players and the coaching staff to help take the club forward. It will be challenging but I am very excited by the opportunity.”

Chairman of cricket Graham Johnson said: “With Sam Billings at the helm we have someone who shares the pride in our tradition and excitement about our ambitions.

“We are in discussion with a number of players who are keen to join Kent and we will be reinforcing the squad with a number of recruits before the season starts.”

“The club has granted Sam Northeast permission to talk to other clubs. Sam has opted not to sign a contract extension and we have reluctantly accepted his request to talk to other clubs despite our best efforts to convince him to commit his future to the club.”

Northeast is believed to have attracted the interest of a number of clubs including Nottinghamshire and Surrey with Hampshire’s Director of Cricket, Giles White, confirming his club are also interested.

He told the Daily Echo: “Sam Northeast is a player of quality; he’s proved to be a good leader over the years and is pushing for an England spot.”

“We would definitely be interested in a player like that.”

“He’s a No. 4 batsman in the County Championship and a No. 3 in T20 – he would be a very good fit for us.”

“We’ll talk to him and see what his thoughts are.”

“Ultimately it will come down to where he wants to play his cricket and he will make his decision.”