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Kent appoint Daniel Bell-Drummond as their new captain; Sam Billings set to still lead Spitfires in 2024 T20 Blast competition

Kent have named their new captain.

Academy product Daniel Bell-Drummond will skipper the side in County Championship Division 1 from 2024 while wicketkeeper Sam Billings, who has stepped down as club captain, will still lead the team in the T20 Blast competition.

Daniel Bell-Drummond – has been named Kent’s new captain. Picture: Keith Gillard
Daniel Bell-Drummond – has been named Kent’s new captain. Picture: Keith Gillard

Batsman Bell-Drummond, 30, won five of nine men’s accolades on offer at their end-of-season awards event after a superb summer.

He becomes the first cricketer of Caribbean descent to be appointed Kent men’s club captain, with his parents of Jamaican heritage, but news of his appointment does come as a slight surprise after Jack Leaning - who had expressed an interest in taking on the role - had been red-ball skipper for much of their 2023 campaign.

Bell-Drummond said: “It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be the club captain of Kent Cricket.

“I’ve been a Kent cricketer since I was seven-years-old; I love the club.

“It’s now my job, alongside the rest of the playing squad, to take Kent Cricket forward into a new season as captain and it’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to.

Wicketkeeper Sam Billings – will remain Kent Spitfires’ T20 Blast skipper. Picture: Keith Gillard
Wicketkeeper Sam Billings – will remain Kent Spitfires’ T20 Blast skipper. Picture: Keith Gillard

“I’m looking forward to working with (director of cricket) Simon Cook and (head coach) Matt Walker, shaping this team into being competitive on all fronts, but also making sure that this ethos spreads down to our age group squads, with help from our fantastic pathway coaches.

“I’d like to thank Sam Billings for his six years of excellent club captaincy, and, of course, I’ll be working closely with Sam as he remains one of the leaders in the dressing room.

“This is a team sport and everyone will have a role to play.

“To the Kent members and supporters - we’ll both be experiencing good times and I’m sure some tough times, but we will be going through it all together.

“We’ll be looking to hit the ground running for 2024 and that will begin with pre-season training in the New Year.

Jack Leaning – was Kent’s red-ball captain for much of their 2023 campaign and stated an interest on taking it on permanently but has missed out on the role. Picture: Keith Gillard
Jack Leaning – was Kent’s red-ball captain for much of their 2023 campaign and stated an interest on taking it on permanently but has missed out on the role. Picture: Keith Gillard

“Before we all know it, it’ll be April and time once again to wear the Kent shirt with pride.”

Bell-Drummond has amassed 369 appearances across a 12-year county career so far. He has scored more than 15,000 runs and has the accolade of being one of six male cricketers to have scored a century in all three formats of the game for Kent.

The right-hander has also captained the side across all formats on 42 occasions in the past four seasons, with a percentage overall of 47%.

In 2023, he backed up his second career T20 hundred, 111 against Middlesex at Canterbury, by becoming Kent’s third triple centurion less than a week later with a record-breaking 300 not out in the County Championship away to Northamptonshire.

Billings remains in charge of Kent Spitfires’ T20 squad, which he led to glory two years ago. He also captained Oval Invincibles to their first Hundred title in August.

“I’m delighted to remain as the T20 captain of the Kent Spitfires - it’s a role that I have loved doing and as I have previously said, it’s always an honour to captain any Kent side,” said Billings.

“DBD will be an outstanding club captain and it’ll be great to work in partnership for the Vitality Blast. He has always been one of the influential characters in the playing squad.

“His deep passion for the club and calm demeanour will, no doubt, elevate this squad further.

“I believe we have a fantastic foundation to challenge for the Vitality Blast trophy again.

“Thank you again for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you all back at The Spitfire Ground next season.”

Director of cricket Simon Cook said: “We’re delighted to appoint Daniel as our club captain.

“He’s one of the real leaders in the dressing room and has shown time and time again to be one of our marquee players - with excellent performances with the bat and also being a part of the senior leadership group of the team.

“He has led by example when called upon, whether as captain or as a senior player when it has been needed, and I have complete confidence in Daniel to be a big contributor in how we want to move forward, playing a brand of cricket that filters down to our talent pathway and, hopefully, brings renewed success.

“We’re also delighted that Sam Billings will continue his leadership of our T20 side.

“Sam has invaluable experience of playing in - and winning - the biggest tournaments in T20 cricket, including captaining us to our T20 title in 2021.

“Short-form captains have the opportunity to influence and win games and, in Sam, we have one of the best in the world.

“This, aligned with his passion for the game, makes him the ideal person to captain the Kent Spitfires in the Vitality Blast in 2024.”

Kent say a captain for the 2024 One-Day Cup will be confirmed closer to the start of the tournament.

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