Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 29 (ANI): England batter Liam Livingstone will miss the Punjab Kings (PBKS) campaign opener of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as he is awaiting a fitness clearance from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after recovering from a knee injury sustained last year in December, reported ESPNCricinfo on Wednesday.

PBKS will open its IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders at the home arena of Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali from April 1.

Livingstone is a vital part of PBKS set-up for his all-round abilities. He has not played any competitive cricket since picking up the injury on his Test debut against Pakistan back in December.

He had also suffered an ankle injury during the Hundred tournament last year. He was recently in Dubai for almost a week for his county Lancashire's pre-season tour and was at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Livingstone had a great campaign for PBKS in IPL 2022. In 14 matches, he scored 437 runs at an average of 36.41 and a massive strike rate of 182.08. He scored four half-centuries in the tournament with best score of 70. He also picked up six wickets with his spin bowling. Livingstone has also represented England in 12 ODIs and 29 T20Is, He also has scored the fastest century by an England player in T20Is.

But PBKS finished at the sixth spot for the fourth season in a row despite his heroics. They won seven and lost seven out of their 14 matches, ending up with 14 points. They fell two points short of a potential spot in a playoff.

Sam Curran, the highest-paid player in IPL history, purchased for Rs 18.50 crore at the auction last year, has joined the team. He is the only English player left in the squad. Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of the competition as well, with Australia's Matthew Short named as his replacement.

Matthew Short was the 'Player of the Tournament' during the Big Bash League (BBL) 2022-23, representing Adelaide Strikers. He was the second-highest run scorer in the tournament with 458 runs at an average of 35.23 in 14 matches, with one century and two fifties and a best of 100.

He also took 11 wickets in 14 matches, with the best bowling figures of 3/14. In all, he has played 67 T20s, in which he has scored 1,409 runs in 64 matches at an average of 23.88, with one century and seven fifties. He also has 22 wickets in the format.

Besides Livingstone, South African pacer Kagiso Rabada will also miss the opening nggame because of international cricket commitments. The bowler is expected to arrive in India on April 3 ahead of away match against Rajasthan Royals. (ANI)

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