England and Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings has revealed he had two operations to remove skin cancer from his chest last year and warned against the dangers of continued exposure to the sun.
Billings took part in a skin cancer screening session organised by his county at the end of last summer, and a mole was removed for further tests which confirmed a melanoma.
Another procedure was scheduled to remove an area around where the mole had been.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Billings recalled how while his recovery was swift that “mentally it was definitely more challenging than physically”.
Billings, 31, hopes his experiences can help others protect themselves.
“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,” Billings wrote on Instagram.
“We all are pretty blase when it comes to putting suncream on, but it really has to change.
“As cricketers we’re exposed to the sun so much and we can all be more diligent.”
Billings is backing a campaign with Professional Cricketers’ Association partners LifeJacket Skin Protection to raise awareness of the issues.
“Cases have doubled over the last 20 years and will continue to double again over the next 20 years,” he added.