After developing symptoms during England’s one-off Test win over Ireland at Lord’s this week, 31-year-old Somerset slow left-armer Leach was ruled out of the Ashes.
On Monday, former England captain and Sky Sports Cricket analyst Atherton considered Leach’s replacement for Brendon McCullum’s England.
It’s devastating for Leach. “Sepsis, Crohn’s, and various illnesses and injuries have plagued his international career,” Atherton added.
He’d been a key member of Ben Stokes’ side in the last year. Stokes trusts him. Under Stokes, he’s flourished.
“He expected a big role, so it’s a devastating blow. It’s every England cricketer’s dream series.
Michael Atherton considers Jack Leach’s replacement.
“Liam Dawson is a reliable, seasoned left-arm spinner. He understands.
“Hampshire’s started well with him. Bats too.
“Rehan Ahmed and Will Jacks, England’s second and third spinners in Pakistan, played brilliantly.
Jacks grabbed six wickets on debut in Rawalpindi and Ahmed seven in Karachi. They would follow.
I don’t believe they’ll worry about putting Ahmed or Jacks back in, but it’s complicated. Karachi leg spin differs from England’s Ashes opener.
If they want a trustworthy spinner to let the quicks to operate at the other end, they may not want a young leg spinner who has not bowled much.
Stokes’ knee is another worry. Because of Stokes’ knee, they may play the extra seamer at Edgbaston and utilize Root as a spinner.
“He hasn’t bowled for ages, he did about 10 minutes of bowling in the warm-up before the Test match the other day but didn’t look fit when he took a catch.”
Despite Leach’s injury, Atherton stated he would not contact Test-retired Moeen Ali if he was England captain.
I wouldn’t if I was captain because they had a talk with him before Pakistan and Moeen indicated publicly his time as a Test player was done.
He was shifting his focus for the rest of his franchise cricket career.
“The Ashes is enticing, but I don’t see what would have altered.
“They may make that call and who knows what can happen.”