|Full name||Matthew Jack Leach|
|Born||22 June 1991|
Taunton, Somerset, England
|Nickname||Leachy, The Nut|
|Bowling||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|Test debut(cap 684)||30 March 2018 v New Zealand|
|Last Test||4 March 2021 v India|
|Domestic team information|
|2010–present||Somerset (squad no. 17)|
|2017||Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)|
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 25 July 2021
Matthew Jack Leach (born 22 June 1991) is an English cricketer who plays for Somerset County Cricket Club and England. A spin bowler, he bowls left-arm orthodox spin, and bats left-handed. He made his first-class debut for Cardiff MCC University against Somerset in 2012 before making his debut for Somerset in the tour match against the South Africans later in the summer.
Leach was born in Taunton, England on 22 June 1991, and attended Trinity School, Bishop Fox's School and Richard Huish College all in Taunton.He used to be employed to park trolleys at a branch of Sainsbury's supermarket in Taunton. At the age of 14, Leach was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
Leach graduated from the Somerset County Cricket Club academy in the summer of 2010,prior to signing a professional contract with Somerset. Leach represented Dorset County Cricket Club in the 2010 Minor Counties Cricket Championship, and bowled his side to victory in the final against Lincolnshire taking 6/21 in their second innings. Leach completed his degree at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in sports coaching. Whilst attending university Leach represented Cardiff MCCU in 2011 and 2012 making his first-class debut against his county side Somerset in March 2012, bowling 41 overs but failing to take a wicket as Somerset amassed 642/3d.
Leach made his Somerset debut in a two-day match against the touring South Africans in July 2012, claiming the prized wicket of Hashim Amla.He made his first-class debut for Somerset in the 2012 County Championship match against Lancashire in August 2012, the rain affected match finished as a draw with Leach claiming Kyle Hogg as his maiden first-class wicket. Further opportunities in the first team were limited for the rest of the 2012 season with the signing of Pakistani spinner Abdur Rehman, and Leach only featured in one further County Championship match and three matches in the 2012 Clydesdale Bank 40, but ended the season ninth in the national first-class averages with 12 wickets at 18.83 runs apiece. Leach spent the 2012–13 winter playing grade cricket for Valley District Cricket Club in Brisbane, Australia, helping his side to win the T20 competition.
Leach returned to Somerset for pre-season on a summer contract and played his first Championship game of the season against Warwickshire due to an injury to first choice spinner George Dockrell; he took his maiden five-wicket haul in the second innings, with 24 of his 44 overs being maidens.Leach made his Twenty20 debut on 23 June 2021, for Somerset in the 2021 T20 Blast.
On 14 February 2018, while playing for the England Lions against West Indies A, Leach achieved match figures of 8-110; in doing so, he beat the previous best figures by an England Lions spinner (Graeme Swann's 8-156).
On 16 March 2018, he was called up to England's Test squad for the tour of New Zealand as an injury replacement for Mason Crane.He made his debut in the second Test in Christchurch.
In an unusual circumstance, with one over left to play during a Test match against Sri Lanka on 15 November 2018, Leach opened England's innings as a nightwatchman, surviving till stumps. He was dismissed for 1 off 11 balls the next morning.In July 2019, in the one-off Test against Ireland, Leach was once again the nightwatchman for England, batting for a single over at the close of day one. England won the Test by 143 runs, with Leach scoring 92 runs, which earned him the man of the match award.
He was then recalled for the second Ashes test at Lords, on 14 August 2019, where he scored 6 not out in the first innings and took 1-19 and 3-37 in Australia's first and second innings respectively. England drew the match.
Leach scored one run in a partnership of 76 with Ben Stokes, to help England win the third Ashes test at Headingley, by one wicket. It has been described as "arguably the greatest one not out in the history of the game".
Leach gained a cult following over the summer of 2019, with his glasses being a contributing factor. He regularly cleans them through his innings, and has received free Specsavers glasses for life following his heroics supporting Ben Stokes in the dramatic Headingley test.This cult reputation was enhanced by his behaviour off the pitch, such as leading some of the England team out to recreate his famous run at Headingley after the match.
On 29 May 2020, Leach was named in a 55-man group of players to begin training ahead of international fixtures starting in England following the COVID-19 pandemic.On 17 June 2020, Leach was included in England's 30-man squad to start training behind closed doors for the Test series against the West Indies. On 4 July 2020, Leach was named as one of the nine reserve players for the first Test match of the series.
Saqlain Mushtaq is a British Pakistani cricket coach, YouTuber, and former cricketer who played in Tests and ODIs for Pakistani national cricket team. Regarded as one of the best spin bowlers in the history of cricket, he is best known for pioneering the "doosra", a leg break delivery bowled with an off break action. He was the fastest to reach the milestones of 200 and 250 wickets in ODIs.
Gareth Jon Batty is an English cricketer who is best known as a spin-bowler. He has represented England in all formats and was the captain of Surrey County Cricket Club between 2015 and 2017. He is the younger brother of former Yorkshire and Somerset off-spinner Jeremy Batty.
Piyush Chawla is an Indian cricketer who has played for the India national cricket team. He has also played for the India under-19 team and the Central Zone. He is seen as a leg-spinning all-rounder in domestic cricket. He spent his childhood in Moradabad, and learnt early essentials of cricket at Sonakpur Stadium under the guidance of his first coach Mr Badhruddeen, who has also coached Indian National cricketer Mohammad Shami, and young talents like Shiva Singh(India U-19) and Aryan Juyal(India U-19). Piyush Chawla completed his schooling at Wilsonia College.
Jeetan Shashi Patel is a former New Zealand international cricketer. A right arm off spin bowler, he plays for Wellington in New Zealand and Warwickshire in England. He is also the spin bowling coach for the England cricket team.
Moeen Munir Ali is an English international cricketer. An all-rounder, he is a left-handed batsman and right-arm off-spinner, who played county cricket for Warwickshire before moving to Worcestershire after the 2006 season. Ali has represented England in all formats of the game. He won Warwickshire's NBC Denis Compton Award in both 2004 and 2005 and Worcestershire's NBC Denis Compton Award in 2009. His off spin is marked by a strongly spun off break and a well-concealed arm ball. He was named as one of five Cricketers of the Year in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Moeen was part of the England squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Adil Usman Rashid is an English cricketer who plays for Yorkshire and England as a leg spinner. Rashid was part of the England squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Christopher Roger Woakes is an English cricketer who plays for Warwickshire County Cricket Club and the England cricket team. He was part of the England squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Mohammad Imran Tahir is a Pakistani-born South African cricketer. A spin bowler who predominantly bowls googlies and a right-handed batsman, Tahir played for South Africa in all three forms of cricket, but preferred the white ball matches.
Joseph Charles Buttler is an English international cricketer and current vice-captain of the England cricket team and Rajasthan Royals in limited overs cricket and the IPL respectively. He is considered by some to be England's best white ball batsman of all time. A right-handed batsman, Buttler usually fields as a wicket-keeper and has represented England in Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket. Buttler served as vice-captain of the England squad during the 2019 Cricket World Cup, where England became world champions for the first time in their history. Buttler currently plays for Lancashire in English domestic cricket, having previously represented Somerset, and also appears for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. Holding the record for the fastest ODI century by an England player, Buttler is regarded as one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in the world.
George Henry Dockrell is an Irish cricketer. Dockrell is right-handed batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler who plays international cricket for Ireland after learning his cricket at Leinster Cricket Club, Dublin. He was a member of the class of 2010 in Gonzaga College, Dublin. In December 2018, he was one of nineteen players to be awarded a central contract by Cricket Ireland for the 2019 season. In January 2020, he was one of nineteen players to be awarded a central contract from Cricket Ireland, the first year in which all contracts were awarded on a full-time basis.
Lewis Gregory is an English cricketer who plays for Somerset County Cricket Club. A right-handed batsman and right-arm seam bowler, Gregory made his senior cricket debut in 2010, representing Somerset against the touring Pakistanis. He made his international debut for the England cricket team in November 2019.
Devendra Bishoo is a Guyanese cricketer, who plays all formats of the game for West Indies. He is a leg-spinner who made his international debut for the West Indies in the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
Mark Andrew Wood is an English cricketer. Wood is a right-arm fast bowler who also bats right-handed. He represents England internationally in all forms of the game, and plays domestic cricket for Durham. Wood was part of the England squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Sohag Gazi is a Bangladeshi international cricketer. He made his Test debut in first test during West Indies's tour of Bangladesh in 2012, taking six wickets in the second innings. He is the first and so far, only man to score a century and take a hat-trick in the same Test match and the first man to do it twice in first-class matches.
Craig Overton is an English cricketer who plays for Somerset County Cricket Club and England. He is an all-rounder who bowls right-arm medium-fast and bats right-handed. His twin brother, Jamie, also played for Somerset before transferring to Surrey late in the 2020 season.
Kuldeep Yadav is an Indian international cricketer who plays for India and for Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket and for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. He started out as a fast bowler at academy level, but his coach advised him to become a rare left-arm unorthodox spin bowler considering his build, which was ill-suited for fast bowling. He played for India Under-19 cricket team in the 2014 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup where he took a hat-trick against Scotland which brought him into the limelight.
Keshav Athmanand Maharaj is a South African professional cricketer who plays for the South Africa national team in Test and ODI cricket. He made his debut in first-class cricket in 2006 and his Test debut in November 2015. He is a left-arm orthodox spin bowler and lower-order batsman. He plays for KwaZulu-Natal and Dolphins in domestic cricket. In June 2021, Maharaj became just the second bowler for South Africa to take a hat-trick in a Test match.
Daniel William Lawrence is an English cricketer who plays for Essex County Cricket Club. Primarily a right-handed batsman, he also bowls right-arm off spin. Lawrence made his international debut for the England cricket team in January 2021.
Samuel Matthew Curran is an English cricketer, who plays for Surrey County Cricket Club, and England. Curran is a left-handed batsman and left-arm medium-fast bowler. The International Cricket Council (ICC) named Curran as one of the five breakout stars in men's cricket in 2018, and the 2019 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack chose him as one of their five Cricketers of the Year. He has represented the Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In April 2019, he became the youngest bowler to take a hat-trick in an IPL match, at the age of 20. He also holds the joint world record for the highest individual score by a number 8 batsman or lower in ODI cricket.
Dominic Mark Bess is an English cricketer who plays for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England.