Sam Billings, the England wicketkeeper-batter, recently shared his traumatic experience of undergoing two operations to treat skin cancer in October 2022. He advised fellow cricketers to be more cautious and take adequate measures to safeguard themselves from the harmful effects of exposure to the sun during cricket matches.
Billings recounted his experience of participating in a skin cancer screening program organised by his county cricket club, where a doctor identified a particular mole that looked suspicious and was removed. After further examination, it was confirmed that the mole was a melanoma.
“Last October I had a bit of a reality check. Two operations to remove skin cancer off my chest put cricket on the back burner for a little while and into perspective. We all are pretty blasé when it comes to putting suncream on but it really has to change,”
Billings wrote in his Instagram caption.
“As cricketers we’re exposed to the sun so much and we can all be more diligent. Cases have doubled over the last 20 years and will continue to double again over the next 20 years,”
he further added.
You realise that cricket isn’t the be all and end all: Sam Billings
“It did give me the clarity of making decisions based on what I want to do. Rather than maybe just toeing the line and being seen to do the right thing. I have tried to do that over the years and it’s sometimes resulted in carrying drinks. You realise that cricket isn’t the be all and end all. It’s hugely important but you need to put things in perspective. It’s also made me much more empathetic,”
“I’ve been that classic Brit abroad, as a 22-year-old with fairer hair in Australia thinking that it was worth going a bit red to end up brown. And at home you see it all the time, it gets to 12 degrees and sunny, all the tops come off. I did’t think I’d be the guy who got skin damage. I hope people see my story and think twice,”
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