Liam Livingstone left out of England Lions squad that will travel to Australia

Liam Livingstone

Liam Livingstone was conspicuous by his absence from the England Lions squad that will shadow the senior side in Australia this winter as Dom Sibley was handed an Ashes lifeline.

While Matt Parkinson and Saqib Mahmood were included in a 14-strong party that will head Down Under on the same day as England’s Test specialists on November 4, their Lancashire team-mate Livingstone has been overlooked.

Liam Livingstone left out of the England Lions squad

The all-rounder had a prolific white-ball summer with the bat and retains Test ambitions, averaging 38.36 after 62 first-class matches, but it is understood the omission frees him up to feature in Australia’s Big Bash League.

Liam Livingstone has had a prolific white-ball summer (Nick Potts/PA)
Liam Livingstone has had a prolific white-ball summer (Nick Potts/PA)

The exclusions of Livingstone, leg-spinner Parkinson and fast bowler Mahmood from the Ashes squad named last week were criticised by former England captain Nasser Hussain and ex-coach David Lloyd among others.

Parkinson, who has taken 102 first-class wickets at 23.35, and Mahmood, who could have given England added bowling firepower in the absence of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Olly Stone, are at least part of the second-string.

They could push their case to be upgraded to the main contingent in two intra-squad matches, while there will also be one four-day fixture against Australia A on a date to be decided before a scheduled return home on December 16.

Dom Sibley on Lions tour

Opening batter Sibley is also in the Lions party, having missed out on a central contract last week and been left out of the Ashes squad after being axed over the summer following a prolonged lean run of form.

Sibley is among four players who have been capped at Test level who have been called up by the Lions – the others being leg-break bowler Mason Crane and wicketkeeper-batters Ben Foakes and James Bracey.

Saqib Mahmood is in the 14-strong England Lions squad, having missed out on Ashes selection (Nigel French/PA)
Saqib Mahmood is in the 14-strong England Lions squad, having missed out on Ashes selection (Nigel French/PA)

Alex Lees is back six years after his last Lions involvement, while another opener in Rob Yates is among those supplementing England’s touring squad, with the 22-year-old Warwickshire left-hander amassing five first-class centuries this year – the most in 2021 globally excepting Joe Root.

Yates, whose runs helped Warwickshire to the LV= Insurance County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy double this year, plus Lancashire batter Josh Bohannon, Surrey wicketkeeper Jamie Smith and Bears seamer Liam Norwell are set for their first Lions experience this winter.

Brydon Carse, who had his first taste of international cricket in July when helping England to a one-day clean sweep of Pakistan, fellow quick Matthew Fisher and batter Tom Abell make up the rest of the group.

The England and Wales Cricket Board revealed selection is conditional on all individuals “passing Lions minimum fitness standards”. No captain has been named yet while coaching appointments will be made in due course.

England Lions squad to tour Australia: T Abell (Somerset), J Bohannon (Lancashire), J Bracey (Gloucestershire), B Carse (Durham), M Crane (Hampshire) M Fisher (Yorkshire), B Foakes (Surrey), A Lees (Durham), S Mahmood (Lancashire), L Norwell (Warwickshire), M Parkinson (Lancashire), D Sibley (Warwickshire), J Smith (Surrey), R Yates (Warwickshire).