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News

Liam Livingstone withdraws from BBL in major blow to the tournament

Number one pick in the inaugural BBL overseas draft pulls out due to his increased international commitments with England

Alex Malcolm
22-Nov-2022
Liam Livingstone prepares for England's final ODI in the Netherlands, VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen, June 21, 2022

Liam Livingstone has withdrawn from the BBL due to increased England duties  •  Getty Images

The BBL has suffered a major blow just weeks out from the start of a new season with Liam Livingstone, the number one pick in the inaugural overseas draft, withdrawing from the tournament due to his increased international workload.
Livingstone was the first player picked by Melbourne Renegades in August and was the most sought-after player in the draft as the BBL looked to reinvigorate the tournament ahead of the next Cricket Australia TV rights negotiation which is set to be finalised in 2024.
Livingstone was initially set to play the first part of the BBL and miss the second half having signed to play in the new SA20 league in January. He was then selected for England's Test tour of Pakistan in December. Renegades signed Andre Russell on a short-term four-game deal for the start of the season in the hope Livingstone could join Renegades for a short stint following the Pakistan tour and prior to the SA20 getting underway.
But Livingstone has opted to withdraw from the BBL entirely, leaving the competition without another overseas platinum player after David Willey also withdrew from the tournament.
"We're obviously disappointed that we won't have Liam as part of our team this summer, but we understand his decision," Renegades general manager James Rosengarten said.
"Liam is a fantastic cricketer and there's a reason we used our first pick in the draft to select him. Since then, his schedule has changed with added international duties and we wish him the best as he pushes for a Test debut.
"We know Liam had been looking forward to working with our head coach, David Saker, and playing for our club. Hopefully, we can make that happen in the coming seasons.
"We have been in regular communication with Liam and his management over the last couple of months, which has allowed us to execute a plan that is best for the Renegades for this season.
"We've already secured Andre Russell for the first four matches and know the match-winning ability he will add to our team.
"This news has allowed us to explore replacement options with greater availability beyond the first half of the tournament, and we look forward to being able to announce another big-name addition for the Renegades soon."
The news comes after it was revealed that Perth Scorchers' overseas signing Laurie Evans had tested positive for a banned substance following a routine anti-doping test during this year's Hundred, with the club announcing they had cancelled his deal.
Australia star Glenn Maxwell is also likely to miss most of the BBL after breaking his leg in a freak accident on November 12.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo