Next man in: Liam Livingstone
Each month All Out Cricket pick out an up-and-coming star from the world of cricket for their feature ‘Next Man In’. This month it’s Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone who has been one of the star men for Ashley Giles' side this year. Here’s what they had to say about our man.
ROLE: Right-hand middle-order bat; part-time leg-spinner
WHO THE HELL? A heavy-hitting batsman and gun fielder who bowls handy leggies, Livingstone made his England Lions debut this summer, making a maiden fifty in England’s one-day Tri-Series victory over Pakistan A. Livingstone signed his first professional contract with Lancashire ahead of the 2014 season and he has established himself as a regular across all formats in the current campaign. He grabbed the headlines last season after smashing 350 off 138 balls for Nantwich Town CC in a Royal London National Club Championship match, the highest recorded individual score in a one-day fixture.
WHAT’S HIS STORY? Born in Barrow-in-Furness, Livingstone trialled at Durham as a youngster before representing Lancashire in age-group cricket, while also playing minor counties for Cumberland. In 2013 he endeared himself to the Red Rose faithful by hitting centuries against Yorkshire in all formats of the game for Lancashire’s second XI and then scored 204 against the same opposition in a three-day friendly in 2014. His penchant for smacking about the local rivals continued this season when he hit a 23-ball 55 – his county’s quickest short-form half-century – in a NatWest T20 Blast victory.
GOOD TIMES? On List A debut Livingstone scored 91 from 88 deliveries against Kent in the 2015 Royal London One-Day Cup, paving the way for more first-team opportunities this year. He has seized his chance, scoring three fifties and two centuries in Lancashire’s first seven County Championship matches, averaging 97.80 in the process. His exploits in the field have also caught the eye. Standing at slip, at the time of writing he has taken 20 first-class catches this season – more than any other fielder in the country.
CHALLENGES? It could be said that Livingstone needs to prove he has the patience and application to match his undoubted ball-striking ability. The early signs have been encouraging. Livingstone’s maiden first-class ton, scored against Somerset in May, came from 215 deliveries and he marshalled the tail superbly.
FINAL WORD: “He’s a serious talent and he plays the modern game. He hit a couple of balls in Sri Lanka on pre-season that were jaw-dropping. They were hitting the top of trees still on the way up and you were saying to yourself ‘That’s different’.” Ashley Giles, Lancashire cricket director and head coach
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