Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone has been named in the England Test squad, alongside James Anderson, for the first time ahead of the upcoming two-match series against New Zealand in March.
The 24 year-old, who is a graduate of the Lancashire Cricket Academy, was recently named Club Captain having averaged over 50 in the Specsavers County Championship in 2017.
He also made his England debut in a NatWest International T20 against South Africa in Taunton last summer.
The Barrow-born batsman starred for the England Lions last winter in Sri Lanka and he matched a feat only Kevin Pietersen had achieved before, when he became the second player in the 35-year history of England B, England A and England Lions cricket to score a century in each innings of a First-Class match.
Liam Livingstone said, “It is a huge honour to have been named in the England Test squad for the first time. Test Match cricket is the pinnacle and something that every player works towards throughout their career.
“As a kid I always wanted to play Test Match cricket for England and I’m determined to take my chance if I get an opportunity in New Zealand.
“I had a taste of what it’s like to play for England in the IT20 series against South Africa last summer, but to pull on the Three Lions in a Test shirt would be a dream come true.
“I’m so excited to get out there and show what I can do.”
Livingstone made his County Championship debut in 2016 and hit his maiden First Class century in just his third game against Somerset, having made his T20 bow in the previous season, when Lancashire won the NatWest T20 Blast for the first time in the Club’s history.
Lancashire Head Coach Glen Chapple added, “It is fantastic news that Liam has been named in the England Test squad for the series against New Zealand.
“He is a highly talented batsman and has shown that over the last two years whilst playing First-Class cricket. To average over 50 in the Specsavers County Championship batting at three shows the technique and temperament he has.
“It’s great news for the Club too and credit must go to the Lancashire pathway and age-group system. It follows on from Haseeb Hameed’s England debut in India in 2016 as well as having five Academy graduates (including Livingstone) in the England Lions squad for the West Indies tour in February and March.”
Livingstone will take part in the England Lions red-ball squad only of the West Indies tour in February before joining up with the senior squad in New Zealand in March.
Commenting on the selection of Livingstone, England’s National Selector James Whitaker, said, “Liam has been a player that we have been impressed with for quite some time, having performed well in the county system with Lancashire and over the past couple of years with the England Lions.
“He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the Test arena.
“During the recent Lions tour of Australia, he was a standout performer and showed a lot of maturity in his attitude and put in some strong performances. We are particularly impressed with the way he bats against spin and is equally adept against the seamers. Liam is also highly regarded at his county Lancashire and will captain the side in the Specsavers County Championship during the 2018 campaign.”
England Test squad
Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Mason Crane (Hampshire)
Ben Foakes (Surrey)
Liam Livingstone (Lancashire)
Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
Craig Overton (Somerset)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Mark Stoneman (Surrey)
James Vince (Hampshire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
Mark Wood (Durham)