IPL 2017: Sam Billings believes England stars will benefit from T20 exposure
Kent’s Sam Billings believes experience of tournaments such as the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash can only improve English cricketers.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Billings is one of eight England players at IPL 2017, double the number who played last year.
“It gives you another platform to progress as a cricketer,” the 25-year-old told BBC Radio Kent.
“My game’s gone from strength to strength, playing international cricket around the world.”
Billings played five games for the Delhi Daredevils in last year’s IPL and has been retained for this year’s tournament, which runs from 5 April to 21 May.
Every franchise this year includes an English player, with Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes and Tymal Mills also taking part.
‘You have 60,000 people abusing you’
Billings has also played in the Big Bash, for Sydney Sixers, and the Pakistan Super League, for Islamabad United, and feels the perception of English cricketers is changing as a result.
“Ten years ago, if you said an Englishman would go over and play in an Australian team, people would laugh at you,” he said.
“I think we had 10 former or current English internationals playing in that, so we’ve definitely been put on the map.
“I’m really excited for the IPL. It’s a fantastic competition, one of the best in the world.
“To have 60,000 people screaming at you and abusing you is a different concept, but it’s an amazing experience.
“It’s re-energised the game and given it a boost. It’s just great fun.”