Team Abu Dhabi captain Liam Livingstone sets sights on T10 debut and England Test team

England all-rounder ready for final stage of hectic year with his team in action as part of double-header opening to tournament on Friday

Having moved from one competition to another since the beginning of the year, Liam Livingstone is hoping to round off the season by leading Team Abu Dhabi to their first Abu Dhabi T10 title.

The England batting all-rounder has spent most of his time in bubbles and hotel rooms while playing for England, Lancashire, Birmingham Phoenix, Rajasthan Royals, Peshawar Zalmi and Perth Scorchers.

His last stop for the year is the Abu Dhabi T10, which gets underway with a double-header at the Zayed Cricket Stadium at Abu Dhabi Cricket on Friday.

The defending champions Northern Warriors take on Delhi Bulls in the opening game at 6pm, followed by the Livingstone-led Team Abu Dhabi versus Bangla Tigers at 8pm.

Playing in the shortest form of cricket, Livingstone believes it’s a format that suits his flamboyant style of batting and part-time bowling.

“I’m really excited to play in a tournament and format I haven’t played before,” the Team Abu Dhabi captain told The National.

“It will be nice to be involved in the tournament and play a different format of cricket. I have played in The Hundred in the summer in England and the T20 format as well and really excited to get going tomorrow.”

Teaming up with Livingstone in the fifth season of the tournament is the dashing West Indian batsman Chris Gayle, South Africans Colin Ingram, Chris Benjamin and Marchant de Lange, and fellow Englishman Jamie Overton.

“We have put together a really good squad,” Livingstone said of his side. “We got a lot of quality in our team and hopefully we can play the best cricket as the tournament goes on in this unpredictable format.

“Any team can beat anybody on the day. It needs a lot of luck and lot of skills and hopefully we have got the players to go all the way.”

Livingstone won the player of the tournament in inaugural The Hundred and he compared it to the T10 format.

“The Hundred format was really entertaining,” he said. “We needed a new format in England and it’s a format that everyone I believe enjoyed either playing or watching.

“I think it will spread out beyond England as the format gets played and get bigger and better.”

After the T10, Livingstone takes a well-earned break over Christmas. “It’s been really challenging to travel around and be in a bubble which was way more difficult than it would have been usually,” he added.

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“I have said all along I want to play Test cricket. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid
Liam Livingstone

“Hopefully the bubble is coming to an end with life gradually becoming normal. I have been playing cricket for a long time and thankfully this is my last tournament and then I go into a six-week break over Christmas.

“I plan to spend some time with the family and friends which I haven’t been doing for the last two or three years.”

Livingstone has become a sensation in the shorter formats of the game in recent times but he’s not given up hopes of playing for England in Tests.

“I have said all along I want to play Test cricket,” he said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid.

“I wish the opportunity comes around for me to play Test cricket. If not, I’ll regret for the rest of my life as my cricketing career has been up and down.

“But another format of cricket is also something that has given me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction, and hopefully it will continue for the next couple of years.”

Speaking on England’s exit at the semi-final stage of the T20 World Cup in the UAE, Livingstone insisted they would be better from the experience ahead of the 2022 edition in Australia.

“We had a great T20 World Cup,” he said. “We played a lot of good cricket but ultimately we fell short at the second las hurdle.

“It’s not something we can be really disappointed about as we get another chance to win a World Cup in 12 months time.

“The experience I got in that six weeks is something I can take forward. It was a learner for us and hopefully we can move a couple of steps further in Australia.”

Updated: November 19th 2021, 4:29 AM
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