Jack Leach will take the next step towards achieving his dream to playing cricket for England when he flies out to Dubai this evening with the rest of the England Lions party.
Jack linked up with the squad, which includes Somerset team-mate Craig Overton last week, initially at Sandhurst and then at Loughborough as he explained. “We started with a day on leadership at Sandhurst,” he said. “Then we got back into cricket skills and did some fitness work at Loughborough where we also picked up our tour kit. It was a good moment getting the Lions kit. It gives you a real buzz to have the three lions across your chest, so now I am looking forward to getting stuck in.
“It’s brilliant for me to be going with the Lions. It’s very exciting for me to be involved with an England programme and it’s something that I feel I can get a lot from. It’s a great chance to show people just what I can do and it all takes me along the road towards my target, which is to play for England.”
During his time at Loughborough Jack spent some time working with former England spinner Graeme Swann about which he said: “It was a great experience. He had a great England career and that’s where I want to get to, so to be able to spend some time with him and ask him his thoughts on my bowling was a really valuable thing for me. He’s given me a lot of confidence and I have certainly taken a lot away from working with him.”
Jack, who took 65 Specsavers County Championship wickets in 2016, outlined what the Lions will be doing: “We have three and a half weeks in Dubai, mainly training to start with and then we finish off with a few one-day matches against UAE and a four day game against Afghanistan.”
“I get back to Taunton on December 12th so there will be a week here training with the boys before a break over Christmas. After the holiday there will be a bit more time working here and then there is a Lions tour to Sri Lanka which hasn’t been selected yet. Hopefully I will go out to Sri Lanka in February, but that depends on how the next three weeks goes for me. It would be great for me to go out there and get some more experience in the sub-continent so I would obviously love to get selected for that, but I will take it step by step and see what I can get out of my time in Dubai to begin with. It’s a very exciting time for me”