Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone wins PCA Player of the Month award for July

Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone expressed mixed emotions after being voted the PCA Player of the Month for July.

Livingstone had a phenomenal month which saw him score his first-ever T20 hundred and take his best bowling figures before fracturing his thumb in the County Championship fixture against Roses rivals Yorkshire to rule him out for the foreseeable future.

0:22 Lancashire's Jordan Clark dismissed Yorkshire's Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow from successive balls for a stunning Roses hat-trick. Video courtesy of ECB

Despite the cruel blow, Livingstone is the third Lancashire player to be named PCA Player of the Month in 2018 – Tom Bailey was the winner in April, with Keaton Jennings scooping the May award before Kent’s Heino Kuhn won June’s accolade.

Livingstone received 38 per cent of the public vote from supporters on a poll conducted on the PCA and Sky Sports’ online platforms. Of the other contenders, Nottinghamshire’s Dan Christian and Gloucestershire’s Ryan Higgins each gained 24 per cent of the vote, with 14 per cent of supporters voting for Leicestershire’s Ben Raine.

The shortlist was produced via the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings, some achievement for Livingstone given his month was cut short due to injury.

Averaging more Vitality Blast MVP points than anyone else in July thanks to his 280 runs and six wickets, Livingstone admitted his delight at leading from the front.

“It is obviously very nice as I didn’t start the season as well as I’d have liked to but the past six weeks, I’ve started to feel really good,” said Livingstone. “It’s a shame the injury came at the wrong time but it was nice to contribute to a few wins for the lads.

“The thumb is going to be a slow process, I had a couple of wires put in it to makes sure it heals properly so until they are out at the end of August, I will not know too much.

“Unfortunately, I have just got to sit back and wait. It is frustrating but there’s not much I can do.

“Having said that, it’s great to know people are supporting you, and great to get some recognition after a good month. It’s just a shame after finding my feet this season I am now injured but that’s the way sport works so there are mixed emotions.

“My aim is to carry on this form whenever I get back fit.”

3:39 Watch highlights from an epic Vitality Blast match at Old Trafford, as Lancashire pipped Roses rivals Yorkshire by one run

Livingstone won three MVP Man of the Matches in July. A ton off 51 balls in his second game of the month against Derbyshire, a career-best four-wicket haul for just 17 runs and a quick-fire 28 against the Foxes inspired Lightning to the top of the Vitality Blast North Group by the end of July.

Arguably the Lightning’s finest victory came in the Roses match against Yorkshire, in which Livingstone struck 79, with the game going to the last ball as they successfully defended 176 to win by one run.

“The Roses was unbelievable and was definitely the best game I’ve ever been involved in,” said the Lancashire captain. “It made it better that it was a shorter game, because we didn’t think there was a chance of getting out there for our biggest game of the season.

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“We thought we had enough runs and they kept inching closer and closer to the point they needed five off two balls and they were favourites.

“I’ve only just about calmed down from it, to be honest. It was a great night and when the atmosphere is like that, I don’t think there’s anywhere better in the world than Old Trafford.

“It was a brilliant month for us, when you are batting well in T20 it carries on from game to game as you don’t worry too much. It’s about going out there and having fun.

“We won five of our first six so we are still in a good position and hopefully the lads can keep that going and I will be supporting as much as I can from the sidelines.”

To view the full Most Valuable Player Rankings, click here.

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