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Feature

Livingstone: 'No time for blocks in T20 cricket, absolutely not'

On Tuesday night, Livingstone hit the longest six of IPL 2022 so far, of 117 metres

Nagraj Gollapudi
04-May-2022
"It was nice, it's been a while since I got one properly out of the scooter"  •  BCCI

"It was nice, it's been a while since I got one properly out of the scooter"  •  BCCI

Punjab Kings' captain Mayank Agarwal couldn't believe what he had just seen. His expression, eyes popping, was not very different from that of most others at DY Patil Stadium on Tuesday evening when Liam Livingstone tonked the longest six of IPL 2022 so far: a 117-metre monster.
It was a 134.7kph length delivery from Mohammed Shami, and Livingstone sent it sailing so high into the night sky that it seemed like the ball had gone over the stadium roof behind the deep square-leg boundary.
Livingstone wore a "what the …" expression after the hit, which changed to a laugh almost immediately. Shami went from a wry smile to a chuckle as he walked back to his mark.
Graeme Smith, on air, called it a "monster", "one of the biggest" he had ever seen. Talking on ESPNcricnfo's T20 Time Out afterwards, Aakash Chopra said the hit should be awarded eight runs.
You know what a block shot is?
No, absolutely not! I told you this all along: there is no time for blocks in T20 cricket.
The Rabada-Livingstone exchange
Livingstone hits sixes for a living; fans and bowlers talk about them for long afterwards. That is why Kings bought the England allrounder for INR 11.5 crore (US$ 1.533 million approx.) at the February auction, their most expensive buy this time. Livingstone has shown why he is worthy of the price: apart from being among the top-ten scorers this IPL [till May 3], he is only behind Shikhar Dhawan in the run tally for Kings, going at an average of over 32 and a strike rate of 186.62.
The strike rate of 300 in his unbeaten ten-ball 30 against Titans was the fifth-highest so far this season for an innings of 25 runs or more. Livingstone has 23 sixes so far in the tournament, only behind Jos Buttler's 36. He has also hit 21 fours, giving him a boundary every 3.6 balls - that is the highest for any batter with a cut-off of 150 balls faced.
Livingstone is so ruthless that he has no mercy for bowlers even in training. As Kagiso Rabada, team-mate at Kings, revealed in a short but entertaining chat with Livingstone on iplt20.com after the win against Titans. Rabada himself has suffered at Livingstone's hands, being smashed for three consecutive sixes at the T20 World Cup 2021 in Sharjah. The first of those, measured at 112 metres, was the longest six of the World Cup.
Rabada: Talk us through that six.
Livingstone: Yeah, it's nice to get one off the middle actually. I think it might have been as big as the one that I hit you for in Sharjah.
Rabada: Yeah, but I also got him out. [Dwaine Pretorius actually got Livingstone's wicket on that occasion.]
Livingstone: But, no, it was nice. It's been a while since I got one properly out of the scooter.
Rabada: You know what a block shot is?
Livingstone: (Laughs) No, absolutely not! I told you this all along: there is no time for blocks in T20 cricket.
Rabada: There we go. I've seen it in the nets. First two balls he faces, he tries to smash them. Other day in the nets, I don't know who was bowling to him, he faces the first two balls, (and) he says: "that's ten off two".
Stats by Sampath Bandarupalli

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo