• Bertie Moores

NEWS ROUNDUP | Livingstone, Somerset Subtractions & An England Debut



LIVINGSTONE SNUBS IPL


Liam Livingstone has turned down an offer to play in the IPL to focus on his cricket with Lancashire next summer. Livingstone, who has two T20I caps to his name, decided against a return to India where he played four games at the start of this year's English summer.


The 26 year old instead outlined that he wishes to focus more on his four day game with Lancashire, who this season were promoted to the top tier as champions.


He said, "I loved the experience of playing in the IPL. But I have decided to put a renewed focus on first-class cricket next summer. I am committed to improving my game in all formats."


Livingstone has enjoyed most success in T20 as a batting alrounder, averaging 27.3 with the bat and an improved 15.35 with the ball in this year's T20 Blast.


He is set to play in the Hundred, having been chosen as a surprise top salary band pick of £125k by Birmingham Phoenix.



SOMERSET DOCKED POINTS


Somerset have been docked 24 points for the coming 2020 County Championship season. Last year's runners up were deducted 12 points for a sub-standard pitch, adding to a 12 point penalty which had been suspended for two years.


The pitch in question had been prepared for this season's County Championship decider with Essex. Essex came through the match to secure a draw and the Championship. However, a hearing at Lord's described the wicket as 'poor' with 'excessive and uneveness of bounce'.


Somerset have 14 days to appeal.



SIBLEY SET FOR DEBUT


Warwickshire opener Dom Sibley is expected to earn his first England cap this week amidst expectations that he will be named on the teamsheet for England's First Test with New Zealand.


It is hoped that Sibley, who averages 41.28 at a strike rate of 41.87, will bring some much needed grit and staying power to an England top order which has recently proved flimsy and prone to collapse.


Many promising county batsmen have been chewed up and spat out by England, but whether Sibley will be given an extended period of time in the side and has the temperament for Test cricket remains to be seen.


He said, "The team hasn't been confirmed but the thought of potentially making my Test debut is pretty exciting. "


"I've been thinking about it for quite a long time, been planning for this and working hard towards it. I'm just glad that it is close now."


Sibley, 24, was the only player in this year's County Championship to score +1000 runs, including 324 across a match against Notts in September.


He will partner Rory Burns at the top of the order, and the pair have history previously playing together at Surrey. Solid openers are at the top of England's Test to-do list. Sort that and they hope the rest of the batting order will fall into place.

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