Big-hitting Livingstone confirms Perth return
Liam Livingstone is set to wow again with his six-hitting exploits after extending his deal with the Perth Scorchers to return for BBL|10
15 October 2020, 11:30 AM AEST
The Perth Scorchers have confirmed the return of English opener Liam Livingstone for the coming KFC BBL season, setting the stage for a reunion with fellow big-hitter Josh Inglis at the top of the order.
And the powerful duo could yet be joined by England star Jason Roy, who remains in discussions with Perth about a return to the Big Bash this summer and could form one third of arguably the most damaging top three in the competition.
Livingstone, who became a viral sensation on his BBL debut thanks to his monstrous sixes – and some uncomfortable blows below the belt – was outstanding on his BBL debut last summer, smashing 27 sixes, the second most in the competition, and scoring his runs at an imposing strike-rate of 142.61.
His 425 runs was the sixth-most in the tournament, and only compatriot Alex Hales – who last week confirmed he was returning to the Sydney Thunder – scored more at a quicker rate.
Livingstone and Inglis put together three opening stands of more than 100 runs last summer, their best the 136 runs they put up against the Thunder at Optus Stadium in late January.
"I loved my time with Perth last season, I can't wait to get back out there and get that orange playing shirt back on," the 27-year-old Lancashire star said.
"I enjoyed opening the batting last year and formed a great partnership with 'Ingo', hopefully we can pick up where we left off."
Inglis, who also featured in last summer's top 10 BBL run scorers with 405 at a strike rate of 153.99, last weekend broke through for his maiden Marsh Sheffield Shield century and showed that his Big Bash form can also be utilised in the first-class format, helping WA pile on 53 runs in just four overs in the hunt for a quick declaration of their first innings.
Ouch. Bang! OUCH! A mixed night in Geelong for Liam Livingstone... The last replay 😳#BBL09 | @BKTtires pic.twitter.com/mO6vWALjlf— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 7, 2020
While Livingstone's return had long been mooted – the club was in talks about a return before plans for an international draft that have since been put on hold – the identity of Perth's second international remains unconfirmed for now.
The club remain in talks with World Cup winning opener Roy, but an announcement has been delayed with details of England's proposed limited-overs tour of South Africa in November yet to be confirmed.
Livingstone was on the fringes of England's white-ball squads this winter when they hosted Ireland, Pakistan and Australia and last played for the national set-up in 2017 when he featured in two T20s against South Africa, something he admits "probably came at the worst time possible" as he grappled with a technique change at the time.
He was also a part of England's Test squad in 2018 on their tour of New Zealand that followed a chastening Ashes defeat, and still harbours big ambitions in the first-class format.
Livingstone had turned down the chance to return to play with Steve Steve Smith's Rajasthan Royals in this season's IPL long before the COVID19 pandemic hit, citing a desire to play more first-class cricket.
While opportunities in that format were limited in England, he helped Lancashire to the semi-finals of the T20 Blast competition before he ran into Dan Christian, the Australian allrounder playing for Notts who launched him for four successive sixes in a match-winning display from a rain-affected clash.
Livingstone's leg-spin was described as "handy" by Perth coach Adam Voges, and Livingstone added four wickets in 8.1 overs last summer at a tidy economy rate of 7.83.
The Scorchers are set to boast a fearsome pace battery again this summer, with Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye to feature having missed last season with injuries, while Jhye Richardson is also on track to return to action in the competition after his off-season shoulder surgery.
And club captain Mitchell Marsh is set to return to playing in the BBL, although that will likely be as a batter only to begin with, following his ankle injury picked up in the IPL.
"It's terrific that Liam has agreed to join us again for BBL10, he made a great impression last season finishing as one of the competition's leading run scorers," Voges said.
"He fitted in very well with our group and along with his handy leg spin and energetic fielding, he brings a wealth of talent to the team."
The Scorchers have one international spot and two slots for domestic players to fill to complete their playing roster.
Perth Scorchers BBL|10 squad so far: Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone (ENG), Mitchell Marsh (c), Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman.