Liam Livingstone has established himself as one of the more destructive power-hitters in T20 cricket. He shone as an all-rounder in the recent T20 World Cup through an economical mix of leg-spin and off-spin.
Currently leading Team Abu Dhabi in the T10 league being played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, the 28-year-old reflects on England’s heart-break in the World Cup semi-final and his future ambitions.
England had a great World Cup until the last 4 overs of the semi-final against New Zealand. When you finished your spell in the 16th over, did you think the game was done and dusted?
I don’t think so. There is so much talent in T20 cricket it would be stupid to think the game was done. Having said that, if you were ever going to lose in a World Cup semi-final and not be disappointed, you would be in the wrong sport. But, it’s in the past. We played some amazing cricket… ultimately there will be another day. The exciting part (is) that we have a chance to redeem ourselves in 12-months.
Talk about your ability to bowl off-spin and leg-spin. That does come in handy in T20 cricket?
I did it to try and get myself back in the England squad. I thought the best way was to try and offer something somebody else does not have. It’s something I have worked a lot on the last many years. Even 12 months ago, if you had said I was going to play a game for England or the T20 World Cup, I probably would have laughed at it. It has really been a good 12 months for me and my bowling has been a massive part of it. It gives me confidence that I can now affect the game in all three facets, which is really pleasing for me.
Eoin Morgan said during the World Cup that you can have the sort of impact Ben Stokes has in a match.
That’s something you want from your captain. (Coming) from somebody who has played the amount of cricket Morgs has, it was really pleasing to hear that. I have quite enjoyed playing under him. He’s formed an amazing cricket team over the past few years. It would be certainly nice to spend some more time under his leadership because I think he is perfect for my cricket.
You look more upright while power-hitting, unlike say someone like Andre Russell, who uses the depth of the crease more and stays low.
Everybody has got a different method and different things work for different people. If I try to copy Andre, I wouldn’t be as effective as he would be if he tried to copy me. The crucial thing is we should try and be the best version of ourselves. Hopefully, over the next how many years I can keep developing my power game. Ultimately I want to become the best power-hitter in the world. I am a long way off from that. In the last 12 months, all I have looked to do is to play positive cricket. It has worked. I will continue to do that in the next 12 months.
Your 42-ball hundred against Pakistan at Trent Bridge recently stood out, everything fell into place.
It usually does when you get a T20 hundred. It was really nice. It was an opportunity I thought I would not get. It was nice to get the fastest T20 hundred for England; it’s something that’s pretty cool to have by my name.
But such days don’t come often, particularly in power-hitting. Does the cricket ecosystem understand that?
That’s something you have to accept in short-format cricket, that you are going to have many bad days and only a couple of good days. So you have to appreciate the good days when they come. I know for a fact that if I have a very good day, there is a chance my team is going to win. That’s a really nice thing to have as a player, that you can be a match winner on a given day. That’s what people want around the world in T20 cricket.
How are you preparing for the next 11 months, in the lead-up to the next T20 World Cup?
I have got this T10 league, and then I have six weeks off. I am not looking too much ahead of that. I have an exciting opportunity in the next few weeks, and an even more exciting opportunity to keep away from cricket and spend some time with family and friends for Christmas. It’s something that I am really looking forward to, something I haven’t been able to do in the last 2-3 years.