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Livingstone’s magic (and borrowed) bat

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Liam Livingstone has revealed the secret behind this summer’s incredible six-hitting streak… a borrowed bat from Rajasthan Royals team-mate Riyan Parag.

The 28-year-old England batter hit 27 sixes for Birmingham Phoenix on his way to becoming the top-scorer (348 runs) in the inaugural men’s Hundred competition.

He also cleared the boundary a number of times playing for England against Pakistan earlier in the summer, including two sixes which went out of Headingley.

Livingstone, who is in the Royals’ squad for Tuesday’s game against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League, joked that “no one was supposed to know” he was given the bat by 19-year-old Indian all-rounder Parag.

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“He wanted one of my cricket bags and I wanted one of his bats. So, we did a little trade and I’ve been using it in white-ball cricket all summer,” he said.

“So maybe I owe Riyan for all the sixes that I’ve been hitting over the last couple of months.”

Riyan Parag (left) and Liam Livingstone both made their IPL debuts in 2019

The current season of the IPL has recommenced in the United Arab Emirates after it was postponed in May amid a surge of coronavirus cases in India.

Livingstone had pulled out of the tournament before the postponement, citing “bubble fatigue”, but says he is now feeling refreshed.

“I feel there’s more to life than just cricket, and sometimes we sort of forget that we are actual human beings and sometimes we have to look after ourselves,” he said.

“I guess the decision I made at the time wasn’t an easy one, I wanted to stay with the Royals and try to help us win some games.

“But I think sometimes your mental and physical health is most important.”

Royals won their only IPL title in 2008 and currently sit fifth in the table.

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