Somerset and England Lions spinner Jack Leach today reflected on an eventful three months.
Leach admits he was “as shocked as anyone” when routine tests at the Performance Centre in Loughborough at the end of the season ahead of the Lions training camp in Dubai suggested that his bowling action needed remedial work.
After working with the England Pathway in Loughborough and Dubai the 25-year-old used his slightly amended action for the first time in fixtures against the UAE and Afghanistan and is now looking forward to honing it further on the Lions tour of Sri Lanka in the New Year.
He took three for seven from 6.2 overs in his only appearance in the one-day series against the UAE and then followed tidy first-innings figures of 20-6-55-0 in the four-day game against Afghanistan by claiming two for 25 in the second.
“When I did the test and they told me, I was as shocked as anyone,” said Leach. “It was only a very small thing in terms of my body position and it wasn’t helping me bowl a doosra or anything like that. After that I just worked my nuts off to be honest with Peter Such from the Lions and Jason Kerr back at Somerset in terms of making the changes I needed to. I’ve made a hell of a lot of progress and I was pleased with the way it went out in the UAE.
“The important thing is that I’ve come to terms with it and I feel like I’m going to be a better bowler in the future for sorting it out.”
Such, the ECB’s lead spin-bowling coach, confirmed: “Jack really has worked like a Trojan since the initial assessment. He’s only made slight modifications but they make a big difference, and we’ve seen really significant progress.”
Matthew Maynard, Somerset’s director of cricket, said: “Jack had a tremendous season for Somerset and is an outstanding player and team member. Whilst he was picked up for a minor abnormality in his bowling action during routine testing at the end of the season, this was quickly addressed with remedial work, allowing him to play for England Lions over the last few weeks. I have every confidence that he will be playing for England in the future and that there is no major issue with his bowling action.”