England’s Jack Leach has been ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand and is doubtful for next week’s second Test after being injured in a fielding accident on the first day at Lord’s.
Leach, playing his first Test at home since the 2019 Ashes, chased a ball to the third man boundary in the sixth over of New Zealand’s innings.
He fell awkwardly on his head as he dived to block the ball.
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The New Zealand medical staff was with him for a few seconds, shortly after the English physio brought the initial concern for the 30-year-old’s neck.
After an assessment on the field, Leach was able to return to the dressing room.
The ECB said in a statement that “Jack Leach has signs of a head injury after fielding while fielding.”
“According to Kanshan’s guidelines, he has been withdrawn from this test.”
The ECB later confirmed that he would be out of action for at least seven days in accordance with the Convention Protocol. The second Test will start on June 10 at Trent Bridge.
“He’s a tough character,” said Matthew Potts of England.
“It’s a strange thing that could happen. The first thing he said was, ‘I’m fine – even though I saved four!’ “It simply came to our notice then.
Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson was called up from Manchester to Lord’s for a Test debut as a concussion replacement.
He will be able to bat on the second day, England will start again at 7-116 in response to New Zealand’s first innings of 132 runs.
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