Western Morning News

Spin king Leach pledges his future to Somerset

England star extends his deal at the County Ground and targets silverware for 2021

- STUART JAMES stuart.james@reachplc.com

ENGLAND spinner Jack Leach says he cannot wait for the new season to start and is targeting silverware for the county after committing his future to the club.

The 29-year-old, who helped England to a 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka this week, has signed a two-year extension to his deal at the County Ground, which now expires at the end of the 2024 campaign.

He follows Jack Brookes and James Hildreth in committing his future to the club as the County tie down key men ahead of the new campaign, which is due to begin with a trip to Lord’s to face Middlesex on April 8.

“I am very excited to have signed an extension with Somerset. It is a proud day for me and my family,” Leach said.

“I would like to thank Andy Hurry, Jason Kerr, all the coaches, the staff and my teammates for their support. I would also like to thank the Members and fans. I would like to send my best to them at this difficult time and say how much we miss you. We can’t wait to have you back.

“I am very excited about what we can achieve as a group. There is a good feeling around the boys, and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Leach progressed through the Somerset Age Group Pathway before making his debut for the County against South Africa in 2012.

Since that day, the left armer has gone on to take over 240 wickets for the club, and his consistent­ly outstandin­g performanc­es for Somerset have seen him receive recognitio­n at Internatio­nal level. Following the series in Sri Lanka, Jack now has 44 Test wickets from 12 matches at an average of just 30.50.

Somerset’s director of cricket, Andy Hurry, said: “To put it in simple terms, Jack Leach is an outstandin­g cricketer. Not only is he a bowler of the very highest calibre, he is also exactly the kind of character you want in your team environmen­t.

“His drive and determinat­ion to succeed are second to none and his will to win is unquestion­able. We all saw that in his performanc­e with the bat at Headingley in the last Ashes series. What people don’t see is the amount of hard work that he puts in behind the scenes. His training ethic is exemplary, and he is always willing to go that extra mile to help the younger players within the squad.

“Jack has had to overcome a number of hurdles during the last few years and on every occasion he has come back stronger and better. He sets a great example, and I am delighted that we will continue to see him representi­ng the Club that means so much to him.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s first match back on English soil after the 2019 Cricket World Cup final will be against Somerset, starting on May 25.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that England will start their home internatio­nal summer with a LV= Insurance Test Series against the number one ranked side in the world.

However, before the Internatio­nal action gets underway, the tourists will begin their fixtures with a fourday match against the Cidermen at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

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 ?? Harry Trump ?? Josh Key of Exeter City reacts as Adam Phillips of Morecambe (not pictured) scores their sides first goal from the penalty spot at St James Park
Harry Trump Josh Key of Exeter City reacts as Adam Phillips of Morecambe (not pictured) scores their sides first goal from the penalty spot at St James Park

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