Renegades lose Livingstone for entire BBL

The Big Bash League has lost its third big-name overseas player in eight days, with No.1 draft pick Liam Livingstone withdrawing from the Melbourne Renegades.

In a major blow to the Renegades' hopes of climbing off the bottom of the ladder, Livingstone confirmed on Tuesday he would no longer feature in the competition.

After initially becoming unavailable for the start of the tournament when picked for England's Test team, Livingstone has cited workload pressure for opting not to return.

The decision leaves the Renegades weighing-up replacement options, with the possibility they could keep Andre Russell on after initially signing him for the first slot of games Livingstone was confirmed to miss.

"We're disappointed that we won't have Liam as part of our team this summer, but we understand his decision," Renegades General Manager James Rosengarten, said.

"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.

"Hopefully, we can make (his return) happen in the coming seasons."

The Renegades have finished last in the past three BBL seasons, but with Livingstone and Mujeeb Ur Rahman among their recruits they were expected to improve this summer.

Livingstone's withdrawal comes at a tough time for Cricket Australia and the BBL, with the Renegades now the third club without their top draft pick.

Perth on Tuesday opted to axe Englishman Laurie Evans, after last year's player of the final tested positive to a banned substance.

The Sydney Thunder lost fellow England star David Willey last week, when he opted to pull out of the competition for undisclosed reasons.

BBL officials have attempted for years to draw world-class talent to the tournament, with this year's overseas player draft thought to be the ticket to more certainty and big-name pulling power.

However, the past eight days would not have come as welcome news for tournament bosses.

Meanwhile, Hobart have signed England's Zak Crawley as a replacement player for Pakistan star Shadab Khan for the second half of the BBL season.

Shadab will start the season with the Hurricanes, before flying home for a one-day series against New Zealand which begins on January 11.