Jack Leach, a national hero last summer when he partnered Ben Stokes in the match-winning stand against Australia at Headingley, is returning home from England’s tour of South Africa without playing a game after struggling to recover from sepsis.
Leach has battled throughout his career with Chron’s disease. When most of the England party were afflicted on their arrival in South Africa with a flu-like bug which has still not been identified, Somerset’s left-arm spinner suffered worse than most.
According to an ECB statement, “The Somerset left-arm spinner, who has struggled to fully recover from sepsis he picked up during the tour of New Zealand in November and was also struck with gastroenteritis and flu ahead of the first Test at Centurion last month, has not been able to reach the expected levels of fitness to be considered for selection. The England medical team, in consultation with Leach, felt to recover fully it would be beneficial for him to return to the United Kingdom. He will leave South Africa on Thursday.”
“It has been an unfortunate time for Jack with illness and since the Test series in New Zealand six weeks ago, he hasn’t been able to get 100 per cent fit,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood.
“This has hampered his preparation in South Africa and despite his best endeavours he is not in a position to make himself available for selection for the final two Test matches.
“He is a great lad to have around the squad and his infectious personality and popularity will be missed. However, his focus has to be getting himself better and receiving the optimum levels of recovery and treatment, which is best served back in England without any distractions.”
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