Billings replaces Kieswetter

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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England have officially added Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings to their provisional World Cup squad, in place of Craig Kieswetter.

The International Cricket Council acceded to England’s request to add uncapped 23-year-old Billings, following Kieswetter’s announcement that he is likely to be unavailable for the whole of 2015 due to injury.

The Somerset wicketkeeper has suffered complications to an eye problem, having resumed playing since being hit in the face by a short ball last summer only to encounter subsequent difficulties with his vision.

England have two other wicketkeepers in their 30-man squad, first choice Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow.

Confirmation from the England and Wales Cricket Board that Billings will be a third coincides with the ICC’s publication of 12 of the 14 squads from countries taking part in the World Cup – which begins in February next year in Australia and New Zealand.

Only Ireland and Australia’s squads are yet to be publicised, by those countries’ requests.

England are expected to pare their 30 down to 16 next week, when they name the touring party for the tri-series in Australia which will precede their World Cup campaign.

All squads must be reduced to 15 in early January, five weeks before the global tournament gets under way.

Scotland recently announced a squad of only 24, although anything up to 30 is permitted at this stage.

They will be led by Preston Mommsen.

Kieswetter Tweeted his support for Billings, describing his replacement as a “future star”,

“Congratulations to @sambillings for being called up to the 30 man World Cup squad. A seriously talented player = future star,” the Somerset player wrote.

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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