After going through a dismal run in Test cricket in recent times, both England and South Africa seem to have regained their lost momentum as they are locked on an equal footing of 1-1 in the ongoing four-match series in the rainbow nation.
South Africa won the first Test by 107 runs at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, England came back strongly in the following game and thrashed the Proteas by 189 runs in Cape Town courtesy of a brilliant spell by Ben Stokes in the fourth innings.
Having failed to recover from illness, England spinner Jack Leach will return home in the middle of the ongoing South Africa tour. Leach went to South Africa as England’s main spinner but has not appeared in any of the two Tests. He was taken ill ahead of their first warm-up game on the tour and has not bowled a single competitive delivery so far.
England’s main spinner to fly back home
His illness was originally thought to be a bout of gastroenteritis, but it has now deteriorated to sepsis. His case has also been complicated by his long history of Crohn’s disease. According to a report on ESPNCricinfo, Leach is now required to take immune suppressant medication.
The 28-year-old had suffered a similar kind of fate in New Zealand as well and was even hospitalised for several days in Hamilton. He has not thrown the red-cherry out of his hand in England shirt since the Mount Maunganui Test which ended on November 25.
The England team management has expressed their support in his recovery process. The management is also reluctant to push him too hard and make him vulnerable for long-term health implications. Though he appeared healthy and took full part in England’s last couple of training sessions, his fitness level has not yet reached the extent where he can make himself available for selection in the playing eleven.
“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% fit. 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,” England head coach Chris Silverwood was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
The Three Lions are hoping that Leach recovers in time before the Sri Lanka tour which begins with a tour game on March 7. England will play the first Test in Galle on March 19.
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