Liam Livingstone says that he enjoys red-ball cricket, but doesn’t mind being a T20 nomad either. The dasher is expected to shoulder the batting responsibility for Rajasthan Royals alongside skipper Sanju Samson, in the absence of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, in IPL 2021 second leg.
Liam Livingstone has been a much sought after cricketer in various T20 leagues over the years, be it the Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League and recently, The Hundred. In the IPL, he's played just four games till date - all for Rajasthan Royals in 2019 - and is now keen on shouldering the side's batting responsibility in the absence of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.
He recently had a tremendous success in The Hundred for Birmingham Pheonix, for whom he aggregated 348 runs from nine games at a staggering average of 58 and a strike-rate of 178.46, while smashing 27 sixes.
Overall, Livingstone has also played 61 first-class games for the Lancashire county and has scored 3,057 runs at an average of 38.69, including seven hundreds. While the batting all-rounder conceded that he aspires to play Test cricket some day, for now, his focus entirely lies on franchise cricket and the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021. He doesn't mind being labelled a T20 specialist for now.
“Yes absolutely (on being a T20 nomad). In world of cricket, you now have two routes. If you can’t make it as a red ball cricketer, you still can travel the world and be part of a lot of franchise competitions,” Livingstone told PTI in an interview.
“Hopefully in the next few years, I can travel the world and play in franchise league cricket. The best part is to come back again and again for the same franchises, create a fan base of yours and also create friendships that last a lifetime.
“Hopefully, I can do that in franchise cricket for years.
"I have a really big IPL coming up and then the T20 World Cup. Test cricket is not something that I am thinking about and in the next couple of months, my aim is to win IPL and the T20 World Cup and see what happens from there.
“I certainly won’t be playing IPL to push my case in Test cricket. Things like that take care of themselves and whatever will be, will be.”
Livingstone, who struck a 42-ball hundred against Pakistan at Trent Bridge two months ago - the fastest ever in T20Is for England - is confident of carrying his form at the IPL, and feels that the UAE leg will serve as an ideal preparation for the T20 World Cup that follows.
"There is no better preparation than playing matches on the pitches on which you will be playing World T20 and I guess that's the nice part of it," he said. "We have a lot of our guys coming on to play competitive cricket leading up to the World Cup and there will be 10 of us who will be here.
"Hopefully, I can perform for Royals and take the team to the play-offs."
The Royals, who are currently placed fifth in the points table, with three wins from seven games, will play Punjab Kings on September 21, in Dubai.