Following his appointment in 2018 as the successor to Sam Northeast, Billings led Kent to promotion from Division Two in his first season in charge. He also oversaw success in the 2021 Vitality Blast, although the last two T20 campaigns have seen Kent fail to qualify from the group stage.
“It has been an incredible honour to captain this great club,” Billings said. “To follow in the footsteps of so many wonderful captains over the years has been truly special. Hopefully I’ve left the club in a better place and taken the cap forward.
“Special thanks must go to Paul Downton for the unwavering support and advice he has offered throughout. Alongside Paul and Matt Walker we set out with three clear aims that we wanted to try and achieve: to produce England players, win trophies and play Division One cricket. The environment that has been created behind the scenes has achieved all three aims consistently, which I’m incredibly proud of. It has been an amazing project to be a part of.
“Finals Day at Edgbaston in 2021, lifting the Vitality Blast trophy, will always go down as one of my personal highlights of my career.
“Thank you to all the members, staff and most importantly the players for all of the support throughout. I’ll see you all back at the Spitfire Ground in 2024.”
Billings, who has played three Tests and 65 limited-overs matches for England, opted out of playing in the 2023 IPL in order to focus on the start of the LV= Insurance County Championship season with Kent. But after making 92 runs in 10 innings, he dropped himself from the playing XI, before deciding to stand aside as captain.
With Jack Leaning taking charge, Kent managed to retain their Division One status in the final round of the summer, finishing just seven points above Middlesex in the second relegation spot.
“What people haven’t seen is the work that he has put in over the years behind the scenes – constantly pushing for us to improve and raise standards in all aspects of the club, as well as playing a personal role in attracting players to play for Kent under his leadership.
“He’ll forever be known as our 2021 T20-winning captain, and that is a legacy that he fully deserves.
“I’d like to thank Sam for his service as captain, and I look forward to working with him in the coming seasons as a Kent cricketer.”
Although Billings endured a tough season at Canterbury, his captaincy did help secure silverware for Oval Invincibles in the third season of the men’s Hundred.