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England players having ‘the best time of our lives’ despite World Cup woes

Liam Livingstone has insisted all is well within England’s World Cup squad, describing their days together as “probably the best time of our lives” and rejecting Eoin Morgan’s suggestion of troubles in the group.

“With all respect to Morgs, everybody loves him in the dressing room, but that’s completely not true,” Livingstone said. “The one thing about unity is you probably get tested more when things don’t go well. It’s easy to say the dressing room is amazing when things are going really well.

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“From what I’m seeing, everybody’s working their nuts off trying as hard as we can to turn it around. Things haven’t gone our way and we haven’t played as well as we want, pretty much all of us at the same time, but there’s certainly no rifts in the camp.”

Livingstone said the atmosphere has not become downbeat despite England sitting bottom of the 10-team World Cup table with five defeats from six games, using as an example the ribbing of Dawid Malan after his outstanding performance in the field against India on Sunday as “that’s something we’re not used to from Mala”.

“We’re trying our best to have as much fun as we can,” Livingstone said. “It’s obviously not easy when you lose so heavily a few times in a row but everybody is trying to work together to change it. We’ve still got three games left and we’ve got a lot to play for.”

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Livingstone top-scored for England against India – albeit with only 27 – but he has been horribly out of form with the bat, and was dropped for the game against South Africa. Despite that, he is cherishing this time with the team. “Whether you are playing or not there is a role to do,” he said. “I turn up to play for England and it is probably the best time of our lives, we’re pretty proud to be able to do this.

“We turn up, do as we’re told and the confidence part of it comes from winning games. I think once we start winning games again we’ll see that. We’ve just had a loss of confidence at the wrong time.”

Though England’s chances of reaching the World Cup semi-finals are now extraordinarily remote they discovered during the India match – despite the decision being made two years ago – that they are also playing for a place at the 2025 Champions Trophy, for which they need to finish in the top eight of the 10-team group.

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“It gives us something to play for over the next three games,” Livingstone said. “Everybody’s trying their best to turn this around. We’re still trying to play our aggressive cricket and have as much fun as we can, and ultimately it is not coming off for us at the minute. We keep losing wickets in clumps, which kills you in any format of cricket. Losing doesn’t really breed confidence and we’re all just lacking a bit of confidence at the moment.”

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