Melbourne Renegades have suffered a massive blow just weeks out from the start of a new season as No.1 pick Liam Livingstone has withdrawn from the tournament due to his increased international workload.
The English all-rounder was drafted by the Melbourne Renegades as the first pick in the BBL Draft, held earlier in August this year, and was expected to be available for the team’s opening eight games of the season.
However, his surprising maiden Test call-up from England for their three-match tour of Pakistan in December saw him ruled out of the Melbourne Renegades’ first four games of BBL 2022-23.
Renegades, with a hope that Livingstone will join the club for a short stint after the Pakistan tour and SA20 league roped in Andre Russell on a short-term four-game contract for the beginning of the season.
However, due to his increased workload, Livingstone has now withdrawn from the remainder of the tournament. The general manager of Renegades, James Rosengarten opened up on the huge blow, stating:
“We’re obviously disappointed that we won’t have Liam as part of our team this summer, but we understand his decision.”
“Liam is a fantastic cricketer and there’s a reason we used our first pick in the draft to select him. Since then, his schedule has changed with added international duties and we wish him the best as he pushes for a Test debut.
“We know Liam had been looking forward to working with our head coach, David Saker, and playing for our club. Hopefully, we can make that happen in the coming seasons.”
Rosengarten further conceded that Livingstone’s absence has allowed them to explore overseas replacement options. Though Andre Russell has been signed by the Renegades for the first four games, they will soon announce the replacement for Livingstone for the remainder of the tournament.
“We have been in regular communication with Liam and his management over the last couple of months, which has allowed us to execute a plan that is best for the Renegades for this season.”
“We’ve already secured Andre Russell for the first four matches and know the match-winning ability he will add to our team.”
“This news has allowed us to explore replacement options with greater availability beyond the first half of the tournament, and we look forward to being able to announce another big-name addition for the Renegades soon.”
Melbourne Renegades Squad BBL | 12
Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Akeal Hosein, Liam Livingstone (Ruled out), Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Mackenzie Harvey, Nic Maddinson (c), Shaun Marsh, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Kane Richardson, Tom Rogers, Will Sutherland, Jon Wells, Jack Prestwidge, Ruwantha Kellapotha, Marcus Harris, Andre Russell (First four matches only)