juin 29, 2022

Sam Billings: Vitality Blast title defence ‘very realistic’, says Kent captain ahead of 2022 season | Cricket News

3 min read

Watch Sam Billings in action as his Kent side begin the defence of their Vitality Blast title against Somerset, in a repeat of last year’s final – live on Sky Sports Cricket from 6.30pm on Wednesday

Last Updated: 24/05/22 2:52pm

Kent captain Sam Billings is hoping his side can become the first to successfully defend the Vitality Blast

Sam Billings accepts that Kent will have a target on their backs in this year’s Vitality Blast but insists that defending their crown is a « very realistic » ambition.

No team has ever retained the title in the competition’s history, which embarks upon its 20th season as Kent kick things off against Somerset on Wednesday night – live on Sky Sports Cricket from 6.30pm – in a repeat of the 2021 final.

Kent vs Somerset

May 25, 2022, 6:30pm

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Jordan Cox had a breakout display in last year’s final, the 21-year-old smashing an unbeaten 58 from 28 balls and producing a breath-taking piece of fielding to set up a remarkable relay catch with Matt Milnes.

Watch how Jordan Cox's remarkable fielding on the boundary led to Lewis Gregory being caught out in last year's Vitality Blast final

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Watch how Jordan Cox’s remarkable fielding on the boundary led to Lewis Gregory being caught out in last year’s Vitality Blast final

Watch how Jordan Cox’s remarkable fielding on the boundary led to Lewis Gregory being caught out in last year’s Vitality Blast final

Kent can also count on the experience of former England international Joe Denly and evergreen 46-year-old Darren Stevens, as well as Billings himself who returns to skipper the side after his IPL stint with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Asked whether his team could become the first to successfully defend their title, Billings said: « There is motivation, of course, but it’s very realistic as well.

« Apart from that evergreen 46-year-old we’ve got, we have a pretty young team which should in theory get stronger and stronger so we’re really looking forward to that.

« We know how people are going to approach us and maybe play a bit differently against us. We can prepare for that and hopefully win the title again. »

Watch the best of the action from the final of the 2021 Vitality Blast as Kent got the better of Somerset

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Watch the best of the action from the final of the 2021 Vitality Blast as Kent got the better of Somerset

Watch the best of the action from the final of the 2021 Vitality Blast as Kent got the better of Somerset

England’s domestic T20 competition first launched in 2003, with Billings then part of the young and impressionable demographic the ECB was trying to tap into.

Billings added: « We were in this country the frontrunners and the pioneers of T20 cricket and the England team has showed that we are still doing that on an international basis.

« I remember growing up as a Kent fan – in 2008 we lost in the final, but we won in 2007 – they were great memories for me.

« It was always one of those things where, ‘I want to be there and win stuff for Kent when I grow up’.

« It means a hell of a lot. »

Watch Sam Billings in action as his Kent side begin the defence of their Vitality Blast title against Somerset, in a repeat of last year’s final – live on Sky Sports Cricket from 6.30pm on Wednesday



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