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Captain Sam Billings wants Kent to be the best in the country

By Josh Fordham

Sam Billings has his sights set on making Kent the best county side in the country.

Billings returned from the Indian Premier League this week where he helped Chennai Super Kings win the tournament.

The 26-year-old, who was made captain of the club this year, is now keen to get his teeth stuck in to the new ‘project’ at Kent.

Sam Billings leads out his Kent side. Picture: Andy Jones
Sam Billings leads out his Kent side. Picture: Andy Jones

Billings said: “We want to be the best team in the country in all formats. We want to get back to Division 1. We want to win a One-Day trophy, whether it is this competition or the T20, there’s absolute belief we can do that.

“It’s small steps but it’s about building on it and it’s taking shape. There’s plenty more to go and there’s no doubt in my mind we can do something special.

“The IPL as an experience is like nothing else and to win it and be surrounded by the team they are lifelong experiences.

“It’s definitely time to get home and back into this and I’m very excited about this project we’ve got going on. I really wanted to get back and get involved.”

Listen to the latest episode of the Kent Cricket Podcast below:

Kent have now won three in a row in the Royal London One-Day Cup to move them up to fourth in the South group.

They now have two home games at The County Ground in Beckenham this week with the first against Surrey on Friday and the second with Gloucestershire on Sunday.

Billings said: “We know we have set the standard especially in the field with the batting and bowling so we know there’s more to come.

“Confidence is going up and hopefully it will continue to snowball.

“I’ve got a lot of mates in that team so we will hopefully turn them over. It’s always nice to meet them especially with a south London derby up at Beckenham and hopefully get a really good crowd.

“They’re a good side. In this South group they are all good sides. This was a good side today and we are going to have to be on it again to beat Surrey.”

James Hildreth falls lbw to against Kent. Picture: Andy Jones
James Hildreth falls lbw to against Kent. Picture: Andy Jones

Billings was part of the One-Day International and T20 England squads Down Under this winter and has used those connections to help Kent make their overseas signings.

One of those, Matt Henry, has been instrumental in Kent’s success in the early part of the season taking 47 wickets in all competitions.

Billings added: “I had a Skype call with Paul Downton, Matt Walker and Ben Green on strategy on what we needed to strengthen and the type of cricketer we want for different formats.

“One huge criteria was the person we are getting into the room. All the signings are a similar age to the group we’ve got and have all got their own personal agenda to really make a mark.

“Matt (Henry) wants to get himself into the Test and white-ball arena for New Zealand and Marcus Stoinis wants to cement himself as one of the best all-rounders in the world in all formats for Australia.

“You’ve got guys who have got a point to prove and are really hungry to do well and are great blokes to go with it, which is a huge part of our strategy.

“As an overseas player you want guys who are going to set an example for the rest of the group.”

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