Published: 06:00, 06 September 2019
| Updated: 07:39, 06 September 2019
Kent skipper Sam Billings admits the current campaign has been the toughest of his professional career yet.
Having faced a delayed start to his season in Canterbury due to the IPL, Billings dislocated his shoulder in his first game back in April against Glamorgan in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
A spell on the sidelines not only quashed his World Cup hopes but would also see him cut a frustrated figure as spectator to much of Kent’s first summer in Division 1 since 2010.
T20 heartbreak at Essex on Friday night further dampened what has proven a disrupted year for the 28-year-old.
“I’ll be honest, it’s been the worst six months of my cricketing career by a mile,” said Billings.
“It’s not ideal at all really. You miss a home World Cup, come back halfway through a (T20) campaign and obviously in a losing side as well.
“From my point of view, it’s been a really tough six months. Such is life. It’s a matter of actually being able to learn from this experience. As horrible as it is, I have to.
“I want this side to win silverware, we obviously got so close last year.”
Billings is now taking inspiration from the revival of England’s Ashes hero Ben Stokes and his comeback since being acquitted of affray following a late-night street fight in 2017.
Rather than dwelling on an undeniably difficult period, Billings has instead vowed to learn from it.
He said: “From my own personal point of view, I think this will help me not only as a leader but as an individual and as a person.
“Look at Ben Stokes, two years down the line and all of a sudden his life has completely changed around so why couldn’t that happen for me?
“I pride myself on my work ethic, in terms of everything I do and leave no stone unturned.
“For me, it’s a matter of continuing to do that and giving myself the best chance.
“I can live with whatever happens as long as I do that.
“We’ve got a great bunch of guys here, we have to do that as a group as well and it’s my job to drive that on.
“It's been a really tough six months, it's a matter of taking it on board and really growing from it.”
Kent will look to confirm their place in Division 1 when they travel to bottom side Nottinghamshire in the County Championship on Tuesday.