Full name Matthew Jack Leach
Born June 22, 1991, Taunton, Somerset
Current age 25 years 3 days
Major teams Cardiff MCCU, Dorset, Somerset, Somerset 2nd XI, Somerset Under-17s, Valley District Cricket Club
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
Education Bishop Fox's School, Richard Huish College
|First-class debut||Somerset v Cardiff MCCU at Taunton, Mar 31-Apr 2, 2012 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Somerset v Surrey at Taunton, May 28-30, 2016 scorecard|
|List A debut||Somerset v Nottinghamshire at Taunton, Aug 12, 2012 scorecard|
|Last List A||Somerset v Surrey at Taunton, Aug 17, 2015 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|12, 2/34||Smrst 2nd XI||v Kent 2nd XI||Canterbury||21 Jun 2016||Other|
|4/34, 1, 4/63, 24*||Somerset||v Surrey||Taunton||28 May 2016||FC|
|4, 5/77||Somerset||v Middlesex||Lord's||22 May 2016||FC|
|1/64, 1/33||Somerset||v Yorkshire||Taunton||15 May 2016||FC|
|0, 5||Somerset||v Warwickshire||Birmingham||8 May 2016||FC|
|2/112, 7||Somerset||v Lancashire||Taunton||1 May 2016||FC|
|0/41, 9, 2/34||Somerset||v Surrey||The Oval||24 Apr 2016||FC|
|21*, 7/106, 15, 4/74||Somerset||v Warwickshire||Taunton||22 Sep 2015||FC|
|1/17||Somerset||v Sussex||Hove||14 Sep 2015||FC|
|0/6, 1/116||Somerset||v Hampshire||Taunton||9 Sep 2015||FC|
Jack Leach - he is known by his middle name - is a tidy left-arm spinner with an unusually high action. He was born in Taunton and developed through the Somerset youth system. He played in the same u13, u15 and u17 sides as Jos Buttler, but while Buttler was always destined for stardom, Leach was obliged to take a job parking trolleys at a branch of Sainsbury's supermarket in Taunton.
Leach helped Dorset to victory in the 2010 Minor Counties Championship - he claimed 6-21 in Lincolnshire's second innings - and then played for Cardiff MCCU in 2011 and 2012. His first-class debut actually came for the MCCU against Somerset in April 2012: Leach delivered 41 wicketless overs as Somerset amassed 642 for 3.
Later that season he made his Somerset first-team debut in a two-day match against South Africa and bowled Hashim Amla. He subsequently made his Championship debut in Liverpool and performed respectably - he claimed 3-37 from 18 overs in the second innings - but with Somerset already having another left-arm spinner, the highly-rated George Dockrell, on the staff and then signing Pakistan's Abdur Rehman for the latter part of the season, opportunities were limited.
After spending the winter playing club cricket in Brisbane - he helped his side win the local T20 competition - he started the 2013 season in the Championship side due to an injury to Dockrell. He claimed 5-63 against Warwickshire but, despite heading the club's bowling averages that season, again struggled for opportunities as Somerset signed another spinner - Piyush Chawla - as an overseas player towards the end of the season.
He had to wait until the end of August to break into the Championship side in 2014, but again bowled with admirable control when given the opportunity. He signed a new contract at the end of the season, aware that with Rehman returning for 2015 and Dockrell eager for more first team cricket, opportunities may be scarce.
Instead, by the end of the season, it was Leach's stock that had risen thanks to a return of 11 for 180 in the final Championship match against Warwickshire, a game in which Somerset secured First Division survival. It was a great fillip so soon after a return from serious injury that had wrecked his season - his head fractured in two places and concussion after he fainted in his bathroom during the night. Asked if he expected to be unnerved by fast bowling, he memorably replied that he was more worried about going for a wee.
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