England crisis deepens as Jack Leach sent home from South Africa tour with illness following James Anderson and Rory Burns out

14 Jan

Jack Leach has become the latest England player to be sent home from the ‘cursed’ tour of South Africa.

The Somerset spinner, who has struggled to recover from sepsis since the tour of New Zealand, joins James Anderson and Rory Burns back home as the tourists’ nightmare with injuries and illness continues.

Leach will play no part in the final two Tests
Getty Images – Getty

Leach was also one of the many England players struck down by gastroenteritis and flu ahead of the first Test at Centurion.

And despite returning to health, the left-armer hasn’t been able to reach the levels of fitness required for the final two Tests.

“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 per cent fit,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood.

Root has struggled with illness twice on this tour
Getty Images – Getty

“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.

“He is a great lad to have around the squad and his infectious personality and popularity will be missed. However, his focus has to be getting himself better and receiving the optimum levels of recovery and treatment, which is best served back in England without any distractions.

“I have no doubt that he will return to full fitness in the medium-term and hopefully he will recover in time for our tour of Sri Lanka in March.”

In more positive news, Joe Root returned to training yesterday after recovering from illness for the second time in South Africa.

Meanwhile, pacemen Mark Wood and Jofra Archer could both be fit for selection in place of the injured Anderson.

England head into the third Test in Port Elizabeth having levelled the series with a breathtaking victory in Cape Town.

You can listen to exclusive live commentary as the third Test begins on Thursday. 

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