At the end of a forgettable 2018, Livingstone relinquished the Lancashire captaincy despite capping the season with a blistering hundred in the T20 Blast on the Finals Day.
It was quite an anti-climax in many ways for Livingstone’s time with Lancashire. He won the NatWest Blast trophy in his first season with the county team in 2015. However, the century in the 2018 T20 Blast perhaps made Livingstone realise his potential as a white-ball specialist, and he decided to put wheels under his career to travel around the world as a freelance T20 batter.
Karachi Kings, Perth Scorchers, Peshawar Zalmi, Rajasthan Royals – -Livingstone didn’t miss any opportunity he was offered in franchise cricket. But his biggest deal undoubtedly came on Sunday in Bengaluru.
On the second day of bidding, Livingstone, who also bowls occasional off-spin, was fiercely fought for by Punjab Kings and IPL debutants Gujarat Titans. But co-owner Ness Wadia-led Punjab camp was determined to bag him and eventually did for Rs 11.50 crore, which made Livingstone the most expensive overseas player of the 2022 auction.
(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
India’s Ishan Kishan is the most expensive player overall of the 2022 player auction, at Rs 15.25 crore. He was bought back by Mumbai Indians, who hadn’t retained him before the auction.
Coming back to Livingstone, travelling the world to play in T20 leagues, and performing well there, earned him an ODI debut in 2021. He was also called back by the England selectors for T20Is, after a four-year hiatus in the shortest format.
In domestic T20s, his stats read 164 matches, 4095 runs, 2 hundreds and 23 fifties, with a strike rate of SR 144.49. His off-spin has also fetched him 67 wickets.
On his return to wearing England colours, particularly in T20Is, Livingstone did justice to the restored faith shown in him by the selectors. He hit a century off just 42 balls against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in July last year – which was also the fastest ever by an England batter in T2OIs.
But his maiden season in the IPL was in 2019 with Rajasthan Royals. He has played just nine matches in the cash-rich league, scoring a mere 112 runs with a highest score of 44.
But it’s his return to form for England that renewed interest of IPL franchises in him and fetched Livingstone the big bucks.