Liam Livingstone has been named as the new club captain of Lancashire, taking over from Steven Croft.
The 24-year-old academy product made his professional debut for Lancashire in 2015 but only made his first-class debut at the start of the 2016 season.
Livingstone, primarily a batsman who has increasingly impressed with his spin bowling, had a superb season in 2017 which resulted in his first international appearance in England’s T20 International against South Africa at Taunton.
Croft has lead the team as captain over the last two seasons as well as skippering Lancashire to T20 Blast success in 2015 in the absence of the injured Tom Smith.
The decision has been made to change the leadership and give the role to Livingstone, who is thrilled to have been appointed.
“I feel privileged, humbled, and most of all, hugely excited by this opportunity,” Livingstone said.
“It is a huge honour to be named Lancashire Captain. The vision for the club is incredibly exciting and we’ve got a very talented group of players in the changing room.
“It’s a very proud day for myself and also my friends and family who have supported me all the way throughout my career.
“To follow in the footsteps of some of the great Lancashire Captains of the past is a dream come true for me.”
Livingstone had a taste of captaincy at the start of the 2016 season while Croft was sidelined through injury.
He impressed in all competitions, averaging over 50 in the County Championship as Lancashire finished second in Division One, which included a magnificent double century against Warwickshire.
Head coach Glen Chapple is convinced Livingstone is the right man to take the club forward.
“Liam has been seen as a potential leader as he has developed through the Lancashire Cricket system,” Chapple said.
“He showed maturity in the role, without it affecting his form when he captained the side earlier in the season, and he commands the respect of the dressing room.
“In congratulating Liam on his appointment, I’d like to acknowledge Steven’s leadership as captain since 2015. He has led the side with purpose and character over the last three years and will continue to play a key role as a senior player in the future.”
Croft is to have a testimonial season in 2018 having made his first-class debut for Lancashire back in 2005.
He has been a near ever-present in all formats including playing a key role in their 2011 Division One title.
Croft admits he wanted to stay on as captain but will continue to be a key part of the team and help the new skipper.
“Being captain of one of the biggest cricket clubs in the world has been amazing. It is something I wanted to continue to do, but I totally respect the decision that has been made.
“Leading the Red Rose out onto the field for over 100 matches is something I have loved doing and will always cherish.
“I wish Liam the very best of luck and I will always be here to support him and give my all for this great club.”