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Kent announce batters Daniel Bell-Drummond and Jack Leaning will share captaincy duties in the absence of IPL-bound skipper Sam Billings at the start of their 2022 season


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Kent have confirmed their captaincy structure for the 2022 season - with skipper Sam Billings missing the start of their campaign.

Match-day captaincy duties will be shared between Daniel Bell-Drummond in white-ball cricket and Jack Leaning in first-class matches as Kent return to County Championship Division 1.

Kent's 2022 squad with the T20 Blast Trophy. Picture: Max Flego Photography
Kent's 2022 squad with the T20 Blast Trophy. Picture: Max Flego Photography

Billings will continue as Kent skipper when available but has travelled to India to take part in the IPL, having been signed by Kolkata Knight Riders.

With the IPL starting on March 26 and Kent starting their County Championship campaign away to Essex on Thursday, April 7, it means he’ll miss the early part of Kent’s campaign, with the IPL due to run until late May.

The 30-year-old missed the start of last season, too, but returned in style, leading Kent to T20 Blast glory - their first trophy in 14 years - before they also won Division 3 of the County Championship.

Billings also made his England Test debut during the Ashes earlier this year in Hobart.

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said: “Sam’s captaincy has been an integral part of the improvement in Kent’s performance over the last four seasons, culminating in winning the Blast in 2021.

Sam Billings is set to compete in this year's Indian Premier League. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Sam Billings is set to compete in this year's Indian Premier League. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“His drive and energy make him the natural leader of this group and we’re pleased to announce that Sam will continue to be our men’s captain for the 2022 season.

“One of his most significant achievements has been the introduction and development of a leadership team within the dressing room.

“While we have missed him when he has been away at the IPL and with England, it has allowed other leaders to emerge.

“Daniel Bell-Drummond has been an outstanding captain in the Blast over the last three seasons and will continue to captain the side in white-ball cricket in Sam’s absence.

“Jack Leaning will step up into a captaincy role in red-ball cricket.

In Billings' absence, Daniel Bell-Drummond will captain Kent in white-ball cricket while Jack Leaning will be their skipper in the red-ball game. Picture: Barry Goodwin
In Billings' absence, Daniel Bell-Drummond will captain Kent in white-ball cricket while Jack Leaning will be their skipper in the red-ball game. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“Jack has settled remarkably well since joining us from Yorkshire in October 2019, and fully deserves his opportunity to lead the county as we compete in the early stages of the Championship until Sam’s return to Kent.

“We are fortunate that both Jack and Daniel can rely on a strong leadership group around them as we all look forward to the coming season.”

Last year, Leaning was awarded his county cap, soon after Kent had won the T20 Blast, a run which saw Bell-Drummond, 28, captain the Spitfires in the early stages of their campaign.

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