PORT ELIZABETH - Ailing left-arm spinner Jack Leach is heading back home after being ruled out of the remainder of England's tour of South Africa as he has failed to regain full fitness, head coach Chris Silverwood said on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old spinner is still feeling the effects of sepsis he picked up in New Zealand in November, and also fell foul of gastroenteritis and flu ahead of the first test against South Africa in Pretoria.
"It has been an unfortunate time for Jack with illness and since the test series in New Zealand six weeks ago, he hasn’t been able to get 100% fit," Silverwood said in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
"This has hampered his preparation in South Africa and despite his best endeavours, he is not in a position to make himself available for selection for the final two test matches.
"He is a great lad to have around the squad and his infectious personality and popularity will be missed. However, his focus has to be getting himself better and receiving the optimum levels of recovery and treatment, which is best served back in England without any distractions.