Leach makes early return from South Africa tour

By Sports Desk January 14, 2020

England spinner Jack Leach will make a premature return home from the tour of South Africa after struggling to recover from illness.

Leach contracted sepsis during the tour of New Zealand in November and was also struck down with gastroenteritis and flu before the first Test against the Proteas last month.

The left-arm tweaker has not been able to regain full fitness and the tourists announced ahead of the third Test in Port Elizabeth that he will head back to England immediately.

"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 per cent fit," said England head coach Chris Silverwood.

"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.

"I have no doubt that he will return to full fitness in the medium-term and hopefully he will recover in time for our tour of Sri Lanka in March."

Mark Wood is reportedly set to get the nod ahead of fellow paceman Jofra Archer to replace the injured James Anderson on Thursday when England go in search of a 2-1 lead at St George's Park.

 

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    Siya Kolisi says it is vital Nelson Mandela's legacy continues as the South Africa captain opened up on his role in helping the country fight coronavirus.

    Kolisi, who skippered the Springboks to Rugby World Cup glory last year, was due to launch his foundation later in 2020.

    The outbreak of COVID-19 has launched Kolisi into immediate action and he has partnered with others to make donations to provide vital supplies to frontline medical workers tackling the crisis.

    An Instagram post from the flanker's foundation last week explained: "Whilst the Kolisi Foundation was months from launching with different projects in mind, we couldn't ignore the seriousness of COVID-19 so began to focus our energy and resources on supporting our frontline workers – supplying sanitisers and reusable masks. 

    "We are thankful that we have been able to lean on our incredible partners to support the project and will look to partner with other established organisations in the future to guarantee our work is as impactful as possible, addressing hunger and other areas close to our heart."

    Kolisi said part of his motivation is ensuring the work of former president Mandela continues.

    "I just think his legacy must still continue, the rainbow nation he wanted to see,"he told BBC Breakfast.

    "Actually working partnering up with the foundation, helping the frontline workers, we're all trying to attack the hunger and help the workers. 

    "Just thinking of other people, the way he lived his life, he always wanted to make South Africa better, that's what we're trying to realise to make sure his legacy continues and because we have a beautiful country, so much potential, we can achieve so much. 

    "Hopefully can inspire other people too."

    Kolisi is drawing on his own experiences of playing as part of a team to aid a country that has had over 1,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has one of the world's strictest lockdowns.

    "It's really tough and I think playing in a team squad, this is going to be a team effort from everyone in South Africa and everyone in general, I think everybody has a role to play," he added. 

    "It's a time for people to stay at home and not leave our houses, we have a complete lockdown our president has acted swiftly. 

    "I think for people who are in a fortunate basis who can help others, food is a big problem at the moment, we're pushing hard on fighting the hunger, making sure people get meals there are a lot kids who go to school just to get one meal.

    "I'm trying to provide for that and making sure we help as much as we can."

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