England cricketer Sam Billings has defended his decision to participate in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) rather than touring Bangladesh with the national team. Billings was part of the Lahore Qalandars’ team, which defended its title in PSL 8.
It is believed that better financial prospects are the reason why England’s non-centrally contracted players prefer T20 leagues over national duty. England players without a central contract earn significantly less than the value of franchise contracts, receiving approximately £5,000 for a one-day international and £2,500 for T20 internationals.
Billings stated that the central contract situation needs to be resolved because opportunities for non-centrally contracted players are becoming increasingly insignificant. He emphasized that he and other players who have made similar decisions have the full support of the ECB. Billings further added that he had balanced the situation and considered all angles before concluding that playing in the PSL was the best decision for him.
He stated that he had been running the drinks for the past eight years and had put England cricket first during that time. Billings believes that the contract situation needs to be resolved for the betterment of the players, as it can be challenging to decline opportunities when they arise.
Billings has played in 3 Tests, 28 ODIs, and 37 T20Is since making his debut in 2015. He believes that there is too much cricket being played currently and that there needs to be a levelling out period where everyone can benefit. However, there has to be a timescale for it to work.