Jack Leach made available for Somerset’s potential championship decider
England spinner Jack Leach has been made available for Somerset’s potential Specsavers County Championship decider against Essex next week.
Leach had a prominent role in the Ashes, taking 12 wickets in four Tests while the idiosyncratic cleaning of his glasses during his one not out in a match-winning union with Ben Stokes at Headingley earned him cult hero status.
While the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed to the PA news agency those involved in the triumphant World Cup campaign and the majority of the drawn Ashes series would be rested for the remainder of the domestic season, Leach is free to help Somerset’s bid for a first championship pennant in their history.
The final round of championship fixtures run from September 23-26, when much of the focus will be on Taunton as current Division One leaders Somerset welcome second-placed Essex.
Surrey duo Rory Burns and Sam Curran are also in contention for their side’s closing match of the season against already-relegated Nottinghamshire.
Burns played the entirety of the series against Australia and cemented his spot at the top of the England order with 390 runs while Curran had an encouraging Ashes debut on his home ground at The Oval last week.
Surrey team-mate Jason Roy, along with Test captain Joe Root, Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes have been stood down from county duties for the next week following their exertions this summer.
PA understands Stuart Broad is set to be rested by Nottinghamshire having featured in the entirety of the Ashes – where he was England’s leading wicket-taker – and the one-off Test against Ireland.
Joe Denly, too, featured in the entirety of England’s Test programme this summer while the Kent batsman became a father for the second time during the concluding match of the Ashes series.
His availability for the clash against Hampshire is a matter to be determined between himself and Kent.