One of game’s cleanest strikers is on his way Down Under for another crack at the Big Bash with Liam Livingstone set to headline an influx of 70 English nominations for the BBL|12 Draft.
Livingstone, who is the third most prolific six hitter in T20 cricket this year with 52 behind Tim David (72) and Rilee Rossouw (56), skipped last summer’s tournament after playing the previous two seasons with the Perth Scorchers.
It means the Scorchers won’t be able to use their retention pick to draft him with a player needing to have been played at least once in the preceding season to qualify.
The draft will be held on August 28 and broadcast live on Foxtel and Kayo Sports following the first ODI between Australia and Zimbabwe in Townsville.
Since his two previous Big Bash stints where he smashed 851 runs at 30.39 and a strike rate of 138.15, the globetrotting T20 allrounder has embarked on a six hitting rampage with 138 in 75 matches to lead all batters since the start of 2021.
The 28-year-old was the top-scorer in the inaugural season of the Hundred last year with 348 runs at a strike rate of 178, while he is also coming off his best Indian Premier League season earlier this year with 437 runs at a strike rate of 182 for the Punjab Kings.
Add to that his 40 wickets with his combination of leg-spinners and off-breaks during the same period and Livingstone – depending on his availability which is yet to be publicly released – appears likely to be one of the first picked in the inaugural BBL Draft .
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 7, 2020
Alex Hales, who is able to be retained by the Sydney Thunder, has also nominated to return for a fourth successive BBL season after impressive performances with Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (355 runs at 44.37) and Nottinghamshire in England’s T20 Blast (374 runs striking at 193) this year.
The 33-year-old became the KFC BBL’s all-time leading overseas run-scorer last season when he overtook former Melbourne Stars mainstay Luke Wright’s 1,479 in the Thunder’s second match of the season.
The right-handed opener is the T20 format’s ninth highest run-scorer of all-time with 9,845 and looks destined to become just the eighth batter to pass 10,000 runs in the upcoming months.
Test regulars Ollie Pope and Matthew Potts are among the draft nominations, as are white-ball specialists Brydon Carse and Melbourne Renegades’ BBL|11 import Reece Topley, who has the most wickets for England in the T20 and ODI formats in 2022 with 20.
Carse was signed by the Scorchers last summer, but a knee injury prior to the tournament meant he did not play, and is therefore not eligible for a retention pick.
Laurie Evans, last season’s player-of-the-final with 76 not out that helping the Scorchers claim a record fourth BBL title, is among the other Englishmen eligible for retention in next month’s draft, alongside Topley, Hales, Joe Clarke (Melbourne Stars ), Ian Cockbain (Adelaide Strikers), Jordan Cox (Hobart Hurricanes), George Garton (Adelaide Strikers), Tymal Mills (Perth Scorchers) and James Vince (Sydney Sixers).
Sixers fans may well be delighted to see Vince nominated after his back-to-back scores in the 90s helped the side to the BBL|10 title in early 2021. Vince was also the top run scorer in this year’s T20 Blast competition with 678 at 48.42 and a strike rate of 146.12, including two centuries.
The influx of nominations highlights the England men’s team have the clearest international schedule during the BBL|12 window with their three-Test tour of Pakistan earmarked to conclude just before Christmas.
After that the national side doesn’t have another bilateral engagement until a two-Test series in New Zealand in mid-February.
Trent Woodhill, the BBL’s Player Acquisition and Cricket Consultant, said England was a proven producer of top T20 talent.
“Headlined by the likes of Liam Livingstone and Alex Hales, two of the world’s leading T20 players, the list is also filled with players who have shown outstanding recent form in other recent domestic competitions,” he said.
“We look forward to some robust discussion around these players on draft night, particularly in regard to the retention picks, with a number of those eligible making a strong case for selection.”
Public BBL|12 draft nominations so far
Afghanistan: Rashid Khan, Qais Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Waqarullah Ishaq, Izharulhaq Naveed, Naveen-ul-haq Murid, Hazratullah Zazai
England: Rehan Ahmed, Martin Andersson, Gus Atkinson, Josh Baker, Sonny Baker, Jake Ball, James Bracey, Danny Briggs, Henry Brookes, Brydon Carse, Matthew Carter, Jordan Clark, Joe Clarke, Josh Cobb, Ian Cockbain, Jordan Cox, Mason Crane , Matt Critchley, Liam Dawson, Brett D’Oliveira, Leus Du Plooy, Stephen Eskinazi, Laurie Evans, Matt Fisher, James Fuller, George Garton, Richard Gleeson, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain, Alex Hales, Miles Hammond, Tom Hartley, Jack Haynes, Freddie Heldreich, Tom Helm, Ryan Higgins, Max Holden, Benny Howell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Danny Lamb, Jack Leaning, Jake Lintott, Liam Livingstone, Lewis McManus, Ben Mike, Tymal Mills, Daniel Mousley, Steven Mullaney, Callum Parkinson, Matt Parkinson, David Payne, Michael Pepper, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ben Raine, Adam Rossington, George Scrimshaw, John Simpson, Prem Sisodiya, Olly Stone, Tommy Taylor, Reece Topley, Liam Trevaskis, James Vince, Joe Weatherley, Ross Whiteley, Chris Wood, Luke Wood, Saif Zaib
Namibia: David Wiese
Netherlands: Colin Ackerman
New Zealand: Colin Munro, Todd Astle
South Africa: Faf du Plessis, Marchant de Lange, Rilee Rossouw
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sheldon Cottrell, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre, Ravi Rampaul, Sherfane Rutherford, Jayden Seales, Kevin Sinclair, Tion Webster, Nyeem Young
BBL|12 Draft order
1.Melbourne Renegades; 2.Melbourne Stars; 3.Brisbane Heat; 4.Sydney Sixers; 5.Adelaide Strikers; 6. Perth Scorchers; 7.Sydney Thunder; 8. Hobart Hurricanes
The BBL|12 Draft will be held on Sunday, August 28 and broadcast live on Foxtel and Kayo Sports following the first ODI between Australia and Zimbabwe in Townsville.