IPL 2023: Here's Why Sam Billings Will Skip 2023 Season
In a surprising decision, England wicket-keeper batter Sam Billings has chosen not to be retained by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ahead of the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Sam Billings, who played 8 matches for the Shreyas Iyer-led side in the 2022 edition, was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in the mega-auction at his base price of INR 2 crore, however, he has chosen to withdraw himself from the whole season of IPL.
Sam Billings explained the reason behind his decision to pull out of the tournament. He said that he wants to focus on red-ball cricket and will be playing in the County Championship in the early county season for Kent. Calling it a tough decision, Billings said that he loved his time with the Kolkata Knight Riders and hoped that their paths meet in the future.
Sam Billing took to his Twitter and wrote: "Have taken the tough decision that I won’t be taking part in the next IPL @KKRiders. Looking to focus on longer format cricket at the start of the English summer with @kentcricket."
"Thank you so much for the opportunity @kkriders! Loved every minute of it. An amazing franchise with some brilliant people. Hopefully see you again in the future," he added.
Check out the Tweet:
In eight matches, Billings scored 169 runs at an average of 22.4, striking at 122.4. It was expected that Billing would be retained by KKR as he had formed an important part of KKR's middle order alongside the likes of skipper Iyer, Nitish Rana, and Rinku Singh. But his decision has left everyone stunned.
Meanwhile, Billings' opting out of IPL 2023 also means that it frees up INR 2 crore in KKR's purse. Recently, KKR pulled off the trades of the season as they bought back New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson from Gujarat Titans and the Afghanistan Rahmanullah Gurbaz in all-cash deals.