England call-up for Lancashire ace Livingstone

Livingstone - Twenty20 call-up
Livingstone - Twenty20 call-up

Hard-hitting Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone has been called up by England for their three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa

.Liivingstone gets the call after a series of impressive displays for England Lions.

He is joined by four other uncapped cricketers - Dawid Malan, Tom Curran, Mason Crane and Craig Overton

The five are given a chance in a 16-man squad which, as expected, is missing several Test regulars.

New England Test captain Joe Root and others will instead take part in a day-night round of Specsavers County Championship matches which immediately follows the South Africa series at the end of this month.

Moeen Ali, Jake Ball and Ben Stokes will also play for their counties rather than England, as preparation for the first day-night Test in this country against West Indies at Edgbaston in August.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid, yet to play a home Test but vastly improved with the white ball of late, will do likewise and is replaced by Hampshire youngster Crane - while fast bowler Tymal Mills is missing from England's Twenty20 squad because of a back injury.

Crane, 20, may be in line for an international debut on his home ground when the series begins at the Ageas Bowl on June 21, and the same will then be true of Somerset seamer Overton, who will replace Mark Wood after the first match and therefore be in contention when the series moves on to Taunton.

Durham paceman Wood is only available for the first Twenty20 before returning to his county to prepare for the Test, while Jonny Bairstow will move on to Yorkshire before the third and final match.

Jos Buttler,, of Lancashire, Jason Roy, Alex Hales and captain Eoin Morgan are among those available throughout.

Chairman of selectors James Whitaker explained England's reasons for the much-changed squad.

"The IT20 series against South Africa presents us with an opportunity to incorporate several players who have come through the talent pathway into the senior group," he said.

"The squad has an exciting blend of youth and experience, and we are looking forward to a competitive series against strong opposition.

"With five uncapped players selected, there is undoubted talent coming through the system, and we are excited to see some of these players showcase their skills at the highest level."

Four of those selected for possible debuts have been pressing for inclusion through performances for England Lions as well as their counties - while Crane took the eye in front of England coach Trevor Bayliss in this year's inaugural North-South series in Abu Dhabi.

Whitaker added: "Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Tom Curran and Craig Overton have impressed for the England Lions over the past 12 months and have transferred their skills across all formats, in particular with their respective counties.

"Young leg-spinner Mason Crane is another player with great promise and he has made great strides with Hampshire this season and has added to his experience with stints in the North-South series earlier in the season, where he took crucial wickets and even earned selection for New South Wales in Australia's premier domestic competition, the Sheffield Shield."

EJG Morgan (captain), JM Bairstow (available for first two matches), SW Billings, JC Buttler, MS Crane, TK Curran, LA Dawson, AD Hales, CJ Jordan, LS Livingstone, DJ Malan, C Overton (available for last two matches), LE Plunkett, JJ Roy, DJ Willey, MA Wood (available for first match