England’s T20I vice-captain Sam Billings was one of the five to be released by IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ahead of the IPL 2020 auction. The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman had direct competition with skipper MS Dhoni to be part of the playing XI and it saw him play just 11 matches for CSK across two seasons.
In his first season with CSK, Billings got to play 10 matches in which he scored 108 runs off 78 balls he faced. But in IPL 2019, he got to play just one match. He later left IPL early to be part of Ireland series and press his case for selection for World Cup 2019.
After being released, Billings came up with a heartfelt post for CSK. The 28-year-old thanked everyone at the franchise and wrote that the debut night in Chepauk will be one of his best memories.
Billings, who has played for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in past, was bought by CSK at his base price of Rs 1 Crore ahead of IPL 2018. This year at the auction, the team looking for a backup wicketkeeper is likely to bid for him.
In 22 IPL matches so far, Billings has scored 334 runs with a strike-rate of 133.60. He, like the England player, is likely to leave the league early in the next season as well.
Apart from Billings, CSK also released Mohit Sharma, David Willey, Dhruv Shorey and David Willey. Mohit made his comeback to CSK after being bought by Rs 5 Crore but he got to play just one match in IPL 2019. Willey missed IPL 2019 due to to family reasons while Shorey only got two chances across two seasons.
The three-time champions have a purse of Rs 14.60 remaining and can add five more players to their roster. Out of five, there are two slots for overseas players. The auction for IPL 2020 takes place on December 19 in Kolkata.