England batter Liam Livingstone named as first pick in Big Bash League draft

Liam Livingstone was the first pick in the opening round of the inaugural Big Bash League draft as Melbourne Renegades landed the T20 star.

The Renegades were awarded the No 1 pick after a weighted lottery and opted for the England, Lancashire and Birmingham Phoenix batter.

Wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings went to Brisbane Heat as the third pick and England team-mate Chris Jordan, the fourth pick, is heading back to Sydney Sixers. England all-rounder David Willey, who has rejoined Northamptonshire from Yorkshire, was snapped up by Sydney Thunder as the seventh pick.

New Zealand bowler Trent Boult, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (both Melbourne Stars) and Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan (Hobart Hurricanes) completed the players drafted in the first round.

Livingstone and England team-mates Billings, Jordan and Willey are set to earn close to a reported £200,000 for playing in this season’s BBL.

The 29-year-old Livingstone will hope there are no fitness issues for the tournament which starts in December after he was ruled out for the remainder of the Hundred with injury.

Birmingham Phoenix play the first of their final two group matches this evening but Livingstone won’t be available for those and the knockouts should they qualify.

The news of his injury also casts doubt over his participation in England’s seven T20s in Pakistan in September and October as well as the T20 World Cup which starts in Australia in mid-October.

The Big Bash League gets underway in December, with the Renegades’ opening match against the Brisbane Heat scheduled for the 15th.