LIAM Livingstone says he has put the team's interests first after opting to stand down from captaining Lancashire.

The top-order batsman was only named Red Rose skipper last season but has relinquished the role after just a year in charge with no replacement named.

The 25-year-old is keen to improve his own form and believes he has made the right decision.

He said: “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.

“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.”

Livingstone has risen through the ranks at Old Trafford and enjoyed a stunning 2017 campaign which earned him international honours.

He hasn't been able to quite repeat that form this term but impressed in Lancashire's run to the T20 Blast finals day, scoring 318 runs at an average of 45 as the Red Rose were beaten in the semi-finals.

Lancashire were relegated to Division Two of the County Championship this term and head coach Glen Chapple said that Livingstone has the full support of all at the club.

“We fully support his decision to stand down as captain of the club," said Chapple.

"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.”