Skipper Sam Billings has handed Kent a boost, signing a contract extension which will keep him at The Spitfire Ground until at least the end of the 2025 season.
Pembury-born Kent Academy graduate Billings has made 248 appearances for the county, scoring more than 7,000 runs across all formats.
The 31-year-old became Kent captain in January 2018 as he replaced Sam Northeast and led Kent to promotion to Division 1 of the County Championship as well as the final of the Royal London One-Day Cup that summer as they lost to Hampshire at Lord's.
He has captained Kent in 66 matches, including leading the Kent Spitfires to their first trophy in 14 years in the 2021 T20 Blast.
The beginning of this year saw him make his long-awaited Test debut for England against Australia in a day-night Test at Hobart - making Billings the 700th man to play a Test for England, the 60th man from Kent Cricket and the seventh Kent wicketkeeper to do so.
Billings, who will captain Oval Invincibles at this year’s The Hundred competition, said: “I have been at this club since I was eight years old and it gives me immense pride to represent my county at every opportunity.
“We need to continue to push forward and progress, and I look forward to playing a part in driving the club to further success.
“I’m delighted to commit my long-term future to Kent and I’m excited to see what the future brings for us.”
Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said: “We’re delighted that Sam has committed his future to Kent.
“He is a fantastic ambassador for the club and his drive, energy and competitiveness make him the natural leader of this group of players.
“I firmly believe that his best cricket is in front of him and look forward to Sam being a prolific run-scorer for Kent for years to come.”
Billings now has three England Test caps to his name in total after he replaced Sam Foakes as he tested positive for Covid during a match against New Zealand earlier this summer before he also played against India earlier this month at Edgbaston. He has 37 international T20 and 25 One-Day International appearances to his name too.
He is the second player in as many days to sign a contract extension, with all-rounder Grant Stewart having done so on Saturday, as Kent also announced they are to sign exciting all-rounder Joey Evison.