Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and England wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings on Monday confirmed that he will not participate in the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Billings, who played eight matches for the Shreyas Iyer-led side in IPL 2022, was signed up by the two-time champions in the mega auction at his base price of INR 2 crore. In eight games, he scored 169 runs at an average of 24.14, with his highest score being 36.

Taking to Twitter, Billings revealed the reason for not participating in the forthcoming IPL.

“Have taken the tough decision that I won’t be taking part in the next IPL @KKRiders. Looking to focus on longer format cricket at the start of the English summer with @kentcricket,” he wrote.

In another tweet, Billings said: “Thank you so much for the opportunity @kkriders! Loved every minute of it. An amazing franchise with some brilliant people. Hopefully see you again in the future.”

Billings’ decision means KKR will now have INR 2 crore more to spend at the mini-auction, scheduled to be held in Kochi on December 23.

There was a lot of action seen in the Knight Riders camp on Sunday (November 13) morning, as they bought back New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson and Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz from the reigning champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in all-cash deals. Afghanistan’s Gurbaz was a surprise trade for many, but with Billings opting out of the current KKR squad, it makes a lot of sense.

Talking of Billings’ future in red-ball cricket, he has off late started getting chances in England’s Test line-up under the leadership of Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. He is often named as a backup wicketkeeper to Ben Foakes.

England will soon resume their tour of Pakistan, where they will play a three-match Test series. Ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup, the Three Lions featured in a seven-game T20I leg, which they finally won by 4-3.

#KKRs #Sam #Billings #opts #IPL #heres #reason


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