Billings disappointed by Kent faithfuls jeering Northeast


Shared News • Last updated on Sun, 01 Jul, 2018, 09:18 AM

Northeast compiled a useful 75 to secure Hampshire their maiden Royal London Cup title.

Kent skipper Sam Billings criticised the behaviour of County’s supporters for jeering the former club captain, Sam Northeast, during the Royal London Cup final between Hampshire and Kent at Lord’s, on Saturday (June 30). Rilee Rossouw led the way with a brilliant century, while Northeast compiled a useful 75 to secure Hampshire their maiden Royal London Cup title.

After scoring more than 8000 first-class runs (including over 1000 Championship runs in each of the preceding three seasons), Northeast left Kent not on the best terms. The right-handed batsman was booed when he took strike at the crease in the final against Kent, but he showed his class and quality with a crucial fifty.

“In a word, no,” Billings said about the reception given by Kent’s supporters. “That’s not really cricket, I know it’s a cliche, but Sam’s a classy player, he showed that today. Of course whenever a player leaves a club there will be a bitterness but I don’t think that’s fair at all, really, to be very blunt. I don’t agree with it at all. It certainly gave the game an edge, everyone felt that in the ground. There was something bubbling there,” he added.

James Vince, the Hampshire skipper, commended Northeast for showing calmness and added that Kent’s faithfuls jeering their former captain motivated the veteran cricketer to raise his game.
“I said to Sam when we knew we were playing Kent in the final how good it would be for him to get a hundred against them,” Vince noted. “He’s obviously played a big part in getting Kent to where they are now, so it’s perhaps slightly unfair but he was fired up to do well for us today. He’s a very calm man. There was no question that it wasn’t going to faze him. The players he played with have respect for him, the fans are entitled to their opinion and I think he’d respond well to that. It probably gave him the extra incentive to really contribute to us winning,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rossouw, the star performer for Hampshire, was pleased with his sterling 114-ball 125. The left-handed batsman, who joined Hampshire via the Kolpak route in January 2017, lost his front teeth after being hit by one of Jonathan Tattersall’s drives in the semifinal game against Yorkshire.

“I’ll take all the bad luck in the world to win a final. I’m happy to relax in victory after two weeks in the wars. I was stuck in the lift for 80 minutes in the hotel last night, on my own. I was actually on my way down to see my wife and my little baby. So I wasn’t happy.

“And with my teeth, I dropped a catch in the semi-finals, it went straight through my hands, hit my front teeth, broke the front two right off and chipped a third. The front two are completely gone. I’ve got a good dentist though, so the credit goes to him,” he observed.