No.1 BBL Draft selection Liam Livingstone has pulled out of the upcoming Big Bash season with the Melbourne Renegades.
The Englishman was already set to face a delayed start to the domestic tournament after being called up to England's Test squad for next month, however, now won't feature in the 12th edition of the BBL at all.
Further duties for England have meant Livingstone has been forced to withdraw from the Renegades' summer schedule in what is a major blow for the franchise.
“We're obviously disappointed that we won't have Liam as part of our team this summer, but we understand his decision,” Melbourne Renegades General Manager James Rosengarten said in a club statement.
“Liam is a fantastic cricketer and there's a reason we used our first pick in the draft to select him. Since then, his schedule has changed with added international duties and we wish him the best as he pushes for a Test debut.
“We know Liam had been looking forward to working with our head coach, David Saker, and playing for our club. Hopefully, we can make that happen in the coming seasons.
“We have been in regular communication with Liam and his management over the last couple of months, which has allowed us to execute a plan that is best for the Renegades for this season.
“We've already secured Andre Russell for the first four matches and know the match-winning ability he will add to our team.
“This news has allowed us to explore replacement options with greater availability beyond the first half of the tournament, and we look forward to being able to announce another big-name addition for the Renegades soon.”
The Melbourne club are scheduled to commence their BBL season against the Brisbane Heat in Cairns on December 15.