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England handed Ashes blow as Jack Leach ruled out of series

England handed Ashes blow as Leach ruled out of series
© Reuters
England are handed a huge blow ahead of the upcoming Ashes as spin bowler Jack Leach is ruled out of the series through injury.

England have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the Ashes after Jack Leach was ruled out of the series through injury.

On Saturday evening, England wrapped up a dominant 10-wicket victory over Ireland in the only Test match between the sides, the game acting as preparation for the fixtures versus Australia.

Leach played an active part in the game at Lord's, taking 3-35 from 14 overs in the first innings and 1-90 from 20 overs in the second.

However, it has now been revealed that the 31-year-old begun to develop an issue with his back, which was subsequently assessed on Sunday.

That determined that Leach has sustained lower back stress fracture, one which will lead to his absence throughout the series.

A statement read: "England Men's spinner Jack Leach has been ruled of the LV= Insurance Men's Ashes series with a low back (lumbar) stress fracture.

"The 31-year-old Somerset slow-left-armer developed low back symptoms during England's LV= Insurance Test victory over Ireland on Saturday.

"A scan on Sunday in London has revealed a stress fracture, which will keep him out of the forthcoming Ashes Test series, which gets underway at Edgbaston on Friday 16 June.

"England will announce a replacement for the Ashes series in due course."

Earlier over the weekend, England announced a 16-player squad for the first two Tests with the Baggy Greens, but that group did not include another specialised spinner.

While England have options at their disposal, they bring minimal big-game experience with Rehan Ahmed - who took match figures of 7-137 on his debut at the end of 2022 in Pakistan - still 18 years of age.

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