Sam Billings has defended the "phenomenal" Rob Key despite England's early World Cup exit, saying people have "short memories".

England's defence of their World Cup crown came to a dismal end, crashing out at the group stage and suffering defeats to the likes of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The miserable elimination has led some to criticise Key, England's managing director, but Billings has come to his defence, praising the work he has done since being appointed in 2022.

"I think Rob Key has been phenomenal," Billing told Stats Perform, speaking on the Pro Am Padel Tour.

"People have ridiculously short memories. He's accountable for everything that's been a positive change over the last 15 months.

"So yeah, I think people always like to shoot people at the top. I think it's all just paper talk, but you look at where English cricket is at the moment – it's an interesting time for cricket as a whole.

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"There are so many options. There are so many different competitions around the world, and so multifaceted where you're trying to juggle everything so I think they're doing a fantastic job."

Billings believes England's terrible World Cup campaign is a reminder of how quickly fortunes can change in sport, saying: "Without stating the obvious, it's hugely disappointing.

"But it's just a reminder of how brutal sport is. There are no guarantees, we prepare the best we can as athletes, the best we can as a team, but ultimately, there are no guarantees and every single team, regardless of how good they are or how good they've been, can have off days that can kind of mount up.

"It's just been one of those things – I think it's important to keep perspective in a time like this where it's been five weeks, probably, of poor cricket over an eight-year period. When you put it in perspective like that, I think that's pretty much all I can say about it. I just think it's important to keep perspective."