England's Liam Livingstone eyes return ahead of T20 World Cup, feels like 'new man' after injury break – Sky Sports

England’s Liam Livingstone feels like “a kid in the backyard” after injury-enforced break from cricket gave him chance to mentally refresh; batter hoping to return in warm-up against Pakistan on October 17; England begin T20 World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22
Monday 10 October 2022 11:36, UK
Liam Livingstone is hoping to make his England return in the final T20 World Cup warm-up game against Pakistan, saying he “wants to play cricket every minute of the day” after time out through injury.
The 29-year-old has not played since August 23 after suffering ankle ligament damage following an innocuous trip on a kerb and is set to miss England’s final two T20s against Australia this week, in Canberra on Wednesday and Friday.
The target is now Monday’s clash with Pakistan in Brisbane ahead of England’s World Cup opener against Afghanistan in Perth the following Saturday – but the Lancashire man will not rush his comeback.
Livingstone told PA Media: “In my head I’m aiming for the warm-up game against Pakistan. [My ankle] is improving really quickly. It’s got much better quicker than I thought it was going to.
“We’re at the exciting part of the rehab, we’re getting close and can see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m excited to be back out there. I feel like I’m that kid again in the back garden wanting to play cricket every minute of the day.
“But if I push it too hard, too early you knock yourself back. We’re trying to get that balance right; push it as hard as we can without aggravating it. I wouldn’t want to go into a game not being 100 per cent.
“I don’t think that’s the right thing for me to do and I don’t think it’s the right thing to do for the lads. We’ve got an unbelievable squad out here and I certainly wouldn’t want to be representing my country at 90 per cent.”
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Livingstone, who hit England’s fastest-ever hundred, from just 42 balls, in a T20 international against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in July 2021, says the break from cricket has refreshed him mentally.
He added: “It wasn’t ideal, but I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason and maybe I just needed a break. I’d pretty much played three years of solid cricket so it’s been nice to spend a bit of time at home.
“Something I’ve always found difficult is when the right time is to have that break. We’ve got short careers, you want to go around the world expressing your talent, you want to go and play in different tournaments.
“You’ve got to remember we’re playing cricket at the top level, the pressure of it and the mental side of it can get to you without realising. I’ve seen this injury as a real positive for me because it’s given me time to get away from cricket.
“I went away for a holiday with my family to Portugal and literally came back a new man. Mentally the break’s done me the world of good.”
Watch the T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports from Sunday, October 16. England’s first game is against Afghanistan on Saturday, October 22, with build-up starting at 11.30am ahead of a midday start.
© 2022 Sky UK


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