After being released by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone has withdrawn his name from the next month’s IPL auction to play a full County Championship season in a bid to break into the England Test team.
The 26-year-old was picked up by the RR at his base price of INR 50 lakh for the last season and he managed 71 runs, including the highest score of 44 off 26 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad in his four outings for the Royals in the IPL 2019.
However, the right-hander has now decided to skip the upcoming IPL 2020 season in order to bolster his credentials for the Test call by impressing in Division One of the County Championship, as he is keen on improving his red-ball game playing a full County Championship season.
As per reports in ESPN Cricinfo, Livingstone said: “It was a fantastic experience to play for the Rajasthan Royals last year. I loved every second, learned a lot, the boys were great and I was delighted to play my part. However, I'm going to have an increased focus on red ball cricket next summer, so the decision was made to stay in England for this.”
He signed off, “I loved the experience of playing in the IPL, but I have decided to put a renewed focus on first-class cricket next summer. I am committed to improving my game in all formats and I still have hopes of playing Test cricket; the best way to achieve that is by impressing in Division One.”
The middle-order batsman had a decent 2019 FC season, scoring 599 runs at an average of 46.07, and now he is eyeing a Test call to England squad on the back of his 2020 show, aiming international comeback for the first time since 2017 – featuring in only 2 T20Is against South Africa.
(With ESPN Cricinfo Inputs)