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Buttler, Livingstone, other England cricketers leave IPL early for T20 World Cup duty

Livingstone has a knee injury, which he wants to get "sorted" before England play Pakistan later this month

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler do their stretches, Rajasthan Royals vs Gujarat Titans, IPL 2024, Jaipur, April 10, 2024

Sanju Samson will have to get a replacement for Jos Buttler at the top  •  BCCI

Liam Livingstone, the Punjab Kings (PBKS) and England allrounder, has left India ahead of schedule in a bid to get his knee "sorted" before June's T20 World Cup.
The rest of England's T20 World Cup squad, who have been at IPL 2024, have also started to return home. Will Jacks and Reece Topley flew back to the UK after Royal Challengers Bengaluru's (RCB's) win over Delhi Capitals (DC) on Sunday night, while Jos Buttler left the Rajasthan Royals (RRS) camp ahead of their game against PBKS in Guwahati on Wednesday. Kolkata Knight Riders' Phil Salt, meanwhile, left on Tuesday*.
Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran are also due to leave India this week, with England players expected back in the country by this weekend. The squad will meet up in Leeds ahead of England's first T20I against Pakistan at Headingley on May 22.

Livingstone wants to get knee 'sorted' before T20 World Cup

Livingstone has suffered from a series of muscle injuries in the past two years and missed two games early in the IPL season after he went down in the field during a defeat to Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) last month. He was later left out by PBKS as they looked to find their best combination of overseas players, but he returned to the side in their loss to RCB on Thursday.
"IPL done for another year, had to get my knee sorted for the upcoming World Cup," Livingstone wrote on Instagram. "Thanks once again to the Punjab Kings fans for all their love and support. Disappointing season as a team and personally, but as always I loved every minute of playing in the IPL"
ESPNcricinfo understands that the knee injury is not serious enough to place his prospects of travelling to the T20 World Cup in doubt, but requires a period of rest before England play Pakistan in four T20Is later this month.
Livingstone struggled to make an impact for PBKS - who were among the first teams to be eliminated from the IPL 2024 playoffs race - in what he described as a "disappointing" campaign. He made 111 runs at 22.20 in seven innings, striking at 142.30, and took three wickets in 12 overs.
It extends a lean winter for him in franchise cricket after a quiet SA20 season with MI Cape Town and a two-match stint with Sharjah Warriors.
* Updated at 4.10pm GMT on May 14

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98