Sam Billings, Chennai Super Kings (CSK),
Photo; BCCI

England and former Chennai Super Kings batsman Sam Billings has decided not to take part in any franchise cricket in the next season as he looks to play for his county team, Kent. The county season starts in the month of April and Billings has decided to take a break till then. He was the only big player whose name was absent from the final list of shortlisted players who will be going under the hammer during IPL 2020 auction.

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Before anyone could have anticipated that the franchises ignored Billings, the Englishman announced that he decided against putting his name forward for IPL auction.

Billings was a part of Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2018 and 2019 but did not get regular chances. In his first season with CSK, he played 10 matches and scored 108 runs. In IPL 2019, Billings got to play just one match.

He flew home early to prepare for Ireland series and press his case for selection but suffered a shoulder injury during the Royal London One-Day Cup. He was replaced by Ben Foakes for Ireland ODIs. Billings made his return for Kent in the county season later.

With regulars being rested, Billings was included in the T20I squad for New Zealand series and was also named Eoin Morgan’s deputy. Though he did not get enough chances. He was dropped for South Africa series and will start his road to comeback with the start of the season next year.

Billings, who also played for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in IPL, has played 22 IPL matches in which he has 334 runs. Overall, he has played 169 T20s in which the 28-year-old has 3138 runs at a strike-rate of 130.36

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Photo: BCCI

Billings is the second England player to withdraw from IPL. Earlier, Liam Livingstone who played for Rajasthan Royals last year, also decided to miss the league to play county cricket and earn a recall to the Test team.
IPL 2020 auction takes place on December 19 in Kolkata. Morgan, who did not put his name forward for IPL 2019, has been shortlisted by the franchises this year.