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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Matthew Cooper

Jack Leach feared health would scupper England chances as he marks 100-wicket milestone

Spinner Jack Leach became the 49th England cricketer to take 100 Test match wickets when he dismissed Saud Shakeel in Pakistan's first innings in Multan.

Leach is a much loved member of the England setup and seems to have thrived under the captaincy of Ben Stokes this year. And while reflecting on the landmark, Leach admitted he "didn't think it would have been possible", highlighting the health problems which have affected his career.

The 31-year-old suffers with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease he was first diagnosed with aged 14. When England toured New Zealand in 2019, he suffered gastroenteritis and was ultimately hospitalised with sepsis.

He later revealed that while in hospital he was concerned that if he fell asleep he "might not wake up". Leach also fractured his skull in 2015 and has suffered two on-field concussions.

"It is amazing to think I have 100 Test wickets," Leach told BBC Test Match Special. "It is a nice little milestone but I just really want to keep winning games with England and let the rest take care of itself.

"I feel I am getting better and better in Test cricket. I feel I am learning all the time. I didn't think it would have been possible, health-wise more than anything.

"There have been lots of challenges along the way. Everyone has their challenges and mine have been out there. That's good because I want to be open and honest.

Leach is the 49th Englishman to reach the milestone (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

"I don't look at my stats, which probably helps. We just want to win and do everything we can to do that.

"I'm really starting to understand we'll maybe take a few more risks to get a wicket. That might require going for a few more runs. If we're winning lots of games, everything takes care of itself.

"I'm loving playing for England the most I've ever loved it. It's because it's all about the team, not about me. That's a really special feeling."

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