Jack Leach

Last updated

Jack Leach
Jack Leach.jpg
Leach in 2013
Personal information
Full nameMatthew Jack Leach
Born (1991-06-22) 22 June 1991 (age 30)
Taunton, Somerset, England
NicknameLeachy, [1] The Nut [2]
Bowling Slow left-arm orthodox
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  684)30 March 2018 v  New Zealand
Last Test4 March 2021 v  India
Domestic team information
2010–present Somerset (squad no. 17)
2011–2012 Cardiff MCCU
2017 Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)
Career statistics
Competition Test FC LA T20
Runs scored2731,33422
Batting average 13.6512.587.33
Top score929218
Balls bowled3,70319,51087248
Wickets 62337215
Bowling average 29.9826.0833.1912.00
5 wickets in innings 22200
10 wickets in match0300
Best bowling5/838/853/73/28
Catches/stumpings 9/–44/–9/–1/–
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.


Early life and education

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. [3] He used to be employed to park trolleys at a branch of Sainsbury's supermarket in Taunton. [4] At the age of 14, Leach was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. [5] [6]

Cricket career

Leach graduated from the Somerset County Cricket Club academy in the summer of 2010, [7] 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. [8] Leach completed his degree at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in sports coaching. [1] 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. [9]

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. [10] He made his first-class debut for Somerset in the 2012 County Championship match against Lancashire in August 2012, [11] the rain affected match finished as a draw with Leach claiming Kyle Hogg as his maiden first-class wicket. [12] 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. [13] 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. [14]

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. [4] [15] Leach made his Twenty20 debut on 23 June 2021, for Somerset in the 2021 T20 Blast. [16]

International career

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). [17]

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. [18] He made his debut in the second Test in Christchurch. [19]

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. [20] 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. [21] England won the Test by 143 runs, with Leach scoring 92 runs, which earned him the man of the match award. [22]

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". [23]

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. [24] 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. [25]

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. [26] [27] 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. [28] [29] On 4 July 2020, Leach was named as one of the nine reserve players for the first Test match of the series. [30] [31]

See also

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  2. https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/645649/sweet-as-a-nut-jack-leach-s-journey-to-england-s-test-squad
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  4. 1 2 Dobell, George (28 April 2013). "Warwickshire last pair thwart Somerset". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
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  17. "Jack Leach claims best figures by England Lions spinner during defeat to West Indies A". Sky Sports. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  18. The Daily Telegraph
  19. "2nd Test, England tour of Australia and New Zealand at Christchurch, Mar 30 - Apr 3 2018". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  20. "2nd Test, England tour of Sri Lanka at Kandy, Nov 14-18 2018". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  21. "England v Ireland: Jack Leach makes 92 before hosts collapse in Lord's Test". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  22. "Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad wreck Ireland dream in a session". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  23. "Jack Leach: 'To see how my one not out affected so many was a special thing'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  24. "Specsavers to offer England's Jack Leach 'free glasses for life'". Evening Standard. 25 August 2019.
  25. Dhingra, Himanshu (27 August 2019). "Watch: Jack Leach recreates that single in 76 run partnership with Ben Stokes". Mint.
  26. "England Men confirm back-to-training group". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  27. "Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett left out as England name 55-man training group". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  28. "England announce 30-man training squad ahead of first West Indies Test". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  29. "Moeen Ali back in Test frame as England name 30-man training squad". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  30. "England name squad for first Test against West Indies". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  31. "England v West Indies: Dom Bess in squad, Jack Leach misses out". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 July 2020.