Liam Livingstone has stepped down as Lancashire captain following a struggle for County Championship form amid their relegation.
Livingstone, who suffered a broken thumb in the Roses match against Yorkshire at Old Trafford, made just 336 runs in 10 matches and did not manage a half-century.
He enjoyed more success in the T20 Blast, where Lancashire reached the semi-finals, including a maiden T20 century off 49 balls against Derbyshire.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the Red Rose in 2018 and my decision to stand down is something that I’ve thought long and hard about,” Livingstone said. “A big part of me wanted to continue leading the side, but I have to put the team’s interests first and the best way for me to help Lancashire is to ensure that I’m performing consistently to the best of my abilities in all formats of the game.
“I hope that the opportunity to captain Lancashire will come again once I’ve been able to perform at the highest level on a consistent basis. As a senior player, I will support the team in all ways possible and I’m determined to put in some more match winning performances for Lancashire.”
Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple said the door was open for Livingstone to return as captain in the future.
“We fully support his decision to stand down as captain of the club. It’s a very brave and selfless one for him to make and I believe having him solely focused on scoring runs for Lancashire will be for the good of the team.
“Being a 24-year-old captain at a big club like Lancashire is not easy and he showed a huge amount of character in leading the side last year, despite the disappointment of the injury he picked up half way through the season and his fluctuating form.
“Liam’s qualities as a captain are not in question and we both agree that Liam needs to be performing at his best for the team to be successful in 2019. We would welcome Liam back as captain of the club should the opportunity present itself at any time in the future.”
Livingstone has played two T20Is and was part of the Test squad in New Zealand earlier this year. He is involved in both the one-day and four-day squads for the England Lions series against Pakistan this month.