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Jack Leach named in Somerset squad as England spinner continues comeback

Jack Leach is ready for a first-team return at Somerset (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Jack Leach is ready for a first-team return at Somerset (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Jack Leach makes his return to the Somerset squad this week, almost four months after leaving England’s Test tour of India with a knee injury.

Leach, who also missed last summer’s Ashes with a stress fracture of the back, has recovered from surgery after suffering his latest setback during January’s Test win in Hyderabad.

The 32-year-old left-armer missed the next four matches of the series, which finished in a 4-1 defeat, and is available for Friday’s Vitality County Championship clash against Zak Crawley’s Kent.

Leach has played twice for the the second XI, first as a specialist batter versus Yorkshire and then sending down 10 overs against Worcestershire in a game that was abandoned following the shock death of Josh Baker.

Shoaib Bashir stepped up for club and country during Leach’s absence, but the 20-year-old has managed just four wickets in three matches this season, leaving the path clear for Leach to reassert himself at the top of the pecking order.

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr said: “Having Leachy back in the squad is a big boost for the group, but also for him. It’s been a tough road back for him and he’s worked incredibly hard.

“He’s an infectious character and he’s got vast experience. He’s incredibly well respected and we saw in practice that he’s always got time for people. We’re all looking forward to seeing him back in a Somerset shirt and enjoying his cricket, and we’ll make a decision on whether that is this weekend tomorrow.”