Home   Canterbury   Sport   Article

Kent captain Sam Billings drafted into England team for Test versus New Zealand as Covid replacement

Kent wicket-keeper Sam Billings has been drafted into the England Test squad as a Covid replacement.

Billings had been expected to captain his county in a four-day LV= Insurance County Championship game against Surrey at The Oval which started on Sunday morning.

Kent captain Sam Billings has been drafted into the England team. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent captain Sam Billings has been drafted into the England team. Picture: Barry Goodwin

But instead he drove up the M1 on Saturday evening and took his place in the field on Sunday for day four of England’s Test match against New Zealand at Headingley.

It comes after England wicket-keeper Ben Foakes, who was unable to take to the field on Saturday during New Zealand’s second innings, tested positive for Covid.

A statement from the ECB said: “Foakes was unable to keep wicket yesterday on day three of the Third LV= Insurance Test at Headingley suffering from back stiffness.

“On a further medical assessment yesterday evening, he subsequently tested positive after administering an LFT COVID-19 test.

“Details of his return to the England set-up will be announced in due course. However, it is hoped he will be fit for the LV= Insurance Test against India starting next Friday at Edgbaston.

“Kent wicketkeeper/batter Sam Billings, subject to ICC approval, has been drafted in as a like-for-like COVID replacement and will go straight into the XI when the fourth day gets underway from 11.00am today. He will keep wicket.

“The rest of the England party follows health protocols of symptom reporting and subsequent testing if required. There are no other positive cases in the camp.”

It’s a second England Test appearance for 31-year-old Billings who made his debut earlier this year in the final Test match of the Ashes series in Australia at Hobart. He made 29 and 1 with the bat and took five second-innings catches as England lost by 146 runs.

Billings has made just one County Championship appearance for Kent this summer after missing the start of the season due to IPL commitments, scoring 43 in his only knock during Kent’s eight-wicket win over Gloucestershire.

Wicketkeeping duties for Kent against Surrey have again been taken by Ollie Robinson.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More