Vice-captain Billings keen to re-establish England T20 case

Sam Billings Kent England 2018 PA

Sam Billings hopes he can pick up where he left off when he returns to England duty in New Zealand.

The Kent wicket-keeper has been named as a vice-captain for the T20 leg of the tour, which begins with a warm-up against against a New Zealand XI on Sunday.

A dislocated shoulder stopped him building on the 87 he made against the West Indies in his last England innings in March, but he has headed to New Zealand with renewed optimism.

“It’s great to get some recognition and it’s a huge honour,” Billings said. “It’s a great opportunity to be recognised as a developing leader. And there’s an element of personal development about it, too.

“I’ve been on the fringes for the last four or five years. I’ve made some performances along the way, but we have such depth in our squad in terms of batsmen and keepers.

“The last innings I played was that 87 in the West Indies. But then I got injured and missed a lot of the year. So even though that innings in the West Indies was a long time ago, it’s about continuing that momentum in an England shirt. For me, it’s about enjoying it and it’s good to be back playing.

“The injury has given me some perspective. I just have to make the most out of every opportunity. For me, as a player, my focus is on being in that T20 World Cup squad.”