Livingstone to miss Punjab Kings' IPL opener
He is expected to join the squad before their second game against Rajasthan Royals in Guwahati on April 5
PTI and ESPNcricinfo staff
England's power-hitter Liam Livingstone will miss Punjab Kings' opening game of IPL 2023 as he is yet to get a fitness clearance from the ECB after recovering from a knee injury he suffered in December.
Kings open their IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mohali on April 1.
Livingstone, who is a key member of the Kings squad for his all-round abilities, has not played competitive cricket since picking up the knee injury on his Test debut in Pakistan.
He had also suffered an ankle injury during the Hundred competition at home last year.
"He is out of the first game at least as the ECB is conducting scans to determine his fitness status," an IPL source told PTI. "He should be available from the second game onwards." Kings' second game is against Rajasthan Royals on April 5 in Guwahati.
Having spent around a week in Dubai on Lancashire's pre-season tour, Livingstone was at Old Trafford on Wednesday and even posted a video on social media where he is seen batting in the indoor nets.
Last year, Livingstone had an impressive IPL season as he amassed 437 runs in 14 games at an average of 36.41 and a strike rate of 182.08. He had also picked up six wickets with his mixture of offbreaks and legbreaks in 2022, when Kings finished sixth for the fourth season in a row.
With Jonny Bairstow also ruled out of the tournament, this leaves Sam Curran, the highest-paid player in IPL history, as the only England player to have joined the Kings squad.
Besides Livingstone, Kings will also miss Kagiso Rabada in their opening game because of national duties. Rabada is expected to reach India on April 3, two days ahead of the away game against Royals.