Jack raring to go in new zealand
Whilst most county cricketers enjoyed some much-deserved time off in October, Jack Leach has been hard at work preparing to fly out to New Zealand for the forthcoming Test Series. Jack is set to depart, along with the rest of the England Test squad, on Monday ahead of the two-match series in November.
Before Jack jets off to the other side of the world, we sat down and had a catch up with the local boy, who has become something of a cult hero since making his Test Match debut in March 2018.
“People keep asking me if I have ever been to New Zealand before and I tell them that’s where I made my debut,” said Jack, who has to date played in nine Test Matches for England. Taking 32 wickets at an average of 26.06 in the process, whilst enjoying a healthy batting average of 18.36 with a top score of 92.
“It’s amazing how long ago that feels and just how much has happened in between, but it’s very exciting to be going back to New Zealand as part of a Test Match squad. We are going out there to play well, put in some good performances and win the series, so it’s a pretty exciting month ahead for me.”
By his own admission, Jack has been on quite a cricketing and personal journey since making his Test Match debut in the spring of 2018.
“To have progressed to where I am now from my debut shows the kind of journey that you go on as a cricketer and as a person, it’s nice to return to New Zealand a little bit more established now than I was back then. Last time I went out late to replace an injured player, so it’s nice this time to be going from the start with the rest of the squad. It’s a lovely country with great people so I’m excited to be going back out there.
“Throughout my career there have been some ups and some downs along the way, so I think I haven’t tried to control how things pan out too much and understand that things aren’t always going to go my way.
“It’s important just to work hard to be yourself, try your best for the team and as long as you are doing these things then you have to be able to accept the good days and the bad days, and know that the next good day is not too far away.
“Something that is said a lot is ‘don’t get too high when things go well and don’t get too low when things are going badly.’ You need to have a level head and understand that you are a good player, and you’re playing in the game for a reason. You have to trust in the things you know you do well and more often than not, you will have good day.”
How has Jack coped with being in the media spotlight and the accolades he has been getting?
“I guess I am a Somerset boy who wants to live the quiet life, so that kind of thing hasn’t necessarily come naturally to me, but I have actually enjoyed it and I can’t thank people enough for the way that they have warmed to me.
“My nature is not to get carried away with that. I understand that people have enjoyed me as a character in terms of me wearing glasses and being part of that partnership with ‘Stokesy’ has kind of heightened it. However; I don’t think that my performances necessarily are in line with how much people have reacted.
“I think for me it’s important to stay grounded and realise that I have still got a lot of work to do to become the spin bowler and the player that I want to become on the international stage.
“It has been really nice to have a bit of time to reflect and over the last couple of weeks, I have gone back to my basics and groomed my game a little bit more to cement the things that are really important to me. Sometimes you forget those things a little bit in competition phase, so to go back to basics and groom stuff is really nice.
“I am now really excited to be able to go out and put this into practice in a competitive environment in the Test Matches.”
Jack added: “One of the great perks of international cricket is that its 12 months of the year and you get to see some amazing places. If things go to plan and go well for me then I get to see some quite cool places this winter, so these are really exciting times for me.”
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