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BBL 2022-23 – Liam Livingstone withdraws from BBL in major blow to Melbourne Renegades

The BBL has taken a major blow just weeks into a new season with Liam Livingstone, the number one pick in the inaugural overseas draft, pulling out of the tournament due to his increased international workload.

Livingstone was the first player to be picked by the Melbourne Renegades in August and was the most sought-after player in the draft as the BBL looked to revitalize the tournament ahead of the next Cricket Australia TV rights negotiations, expected to take place in will be completed in 2024.

Livingstone was initially set to play the first part of the BBL and miss the second half after signing to play in the new SA20 competition in January. He was then selected for England’s Test Tour of Pakistan in December. Renegades signed Andre Russell on a short-term four match contract before the start of the season, with the hope that Livingstone could join Renegades for a short spell after the tour of Pakistan and before the SA20 kicked off.

But Livingstone has opted to pull out of the BBL completely, leaving the league without another overseas platinum player after David Willey also pulled out of the tournament.

“We are obviously disappointed not to have Liam on our team this summer, but we understand his decision,” said Renegades general manager James Rosengarten.

“Liam is a fantastic cricketer and there’s a reason why we used our first pick in the draft to select him. His schedule has since changed with additional international duties and we wish him well as he pushes for a test debut.

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“We know Liam was looking forward to working with our head coach, David Saker, and playing for our club. Hopefully we can deliver on that in the coming seasons.

“We have been in regular contact with Liam and his management over the past few months, which has enabled us to implement a plan that is best for the Renegades for this season.

“We have already secured Andre Russell for the first four games and know how much game-winning ability he will bring 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 announcing another big name for the Renegades soon.”

The news comes after it was revealed that Laurie Evans, an overseas signing from Perth Scorchers, had tested positive for a banned substance following a routine anti-doping test at this year’s Hundred, with the club announcing they had canceled his deal.

Australian star Glenn Maxwell is also likely to miss most of the BBL after breaking his leg in a freak accident on Nov. 12.

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