What happened to Jack Leach? Matt Parkinson replaces off-spinner in England vs New Zealand Test

Lancashire spinner Matt Parkinson has replaced Jack Leach as a concussion subsitute in England’s first Test against New Zealand
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The England spinner Jack Leach has been withdrawn from England’s first Test match after suffering symptoms of concussion.

The 30-year-old Somerset spinner fell heavily while chasing a ball to the boundary early on in the day and has suffered symptoms of concussion, thus ruling him out of the remainder of the match.

The Lancashire spinner Matt Parkinson is now set to replace the Somerset spinner and will head down to London later on today, Thursday 2 June 2022.

The rules stipulate that England are able to name a concussion replacement but it must be a like-for-like scenario.

Speculation on BBC Sport’s Test Match Special surrounded whether the all-rounder Liam Livingstone could be called up to the squad.

However, as he is listed as an all-rounder and not a specialist spinner, he did not qualify.

The first concussion substitute was used at the Ashes 2019 series after Steve Smith was struck on the head by Jofra Archer. Marnus Labuschagne was named as the replacement and went on to become one of the stars of the series.

What happened to Jack Leach?

Leach was playing his first home Test since 2019 and was fielding at point when he went to chase an edge off New Zealand’s Devon Conway.

Conway edged off the bowling of Stuart Broad and went down to third man boundary and has Leach went to stop the ball from reaching the rope, the Somerset man landed awkwardly and received treatment on the field from both teams’ medical staff.

Leach fell while attempting to save a ball from Devon ConwayLeach fell while attempting to save a ball from Devon Conway
Leach fell while attempting to save a ball from Devon Conway

Shortly after, it was confirmed he had been suffering symptoms of concussion after his assessment.

This is not the first time Jack Leach has suffered a concussion. The 30-year-old most famous for his last wicket stand with Ben Stokes at Headingley in 2019 once fainted at home after hitting his head on the sink and and another concussion was suffered when he was struck on the head while batting by the former South African pace bowler, Morne Morkel.

Who is Matt Parkinson?

The 25-year-old began his first-class career in June 2016 against Warwickshire in the County Championship and took 5 for 49 in his first innings.

He then went on to make his T20 debut for his county the following year at the 2017 NatWest t20Blast in July 2017.

Parkinson toured with the England Lions in West Indies in 2017/18, taking 4/26 in the final 50-over match against West Indies A and won the player of the match award for his efforts.

He was later named in England’s Test and T20 International squads for their series against New Zealand and made his T20I debut against New Zealand in November 2019.

In his four T20I matches, Parkinson has six wickets at a bowling average of 22.16.

Parkinson was named in a 55-man group of players who began training following the Covid-19 pandemic and has consistently been named in large squads ahead of Test matches but has yet to be given his international Test debut.

In the 2022 County Championship season, Parkinson has taken 24 wickets in his five matches, helping Lancashire to their two wins so far this seaosn.

When will he make his debut?

Parkinson will join for the remainder of the first Test match which is currently underway at Lord’s Cricket Ground. At lunch on the first day, New Zealand were 39-6 with the debutant Matt Potts taking three wickets, James Anderson taking two and Stuart Broad taking one.

The Test match is available to watch on Sky Sports Cricket.

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