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Jack looks back on 2020

It was announced recently that Jack Leach will be in the England squad that travels to Sri Lanka for a two-Test series in January.

Jack has been training at the Cooper Associates County Ground with the rest of the Somerset squad and we caught up with him to talk about the summer of 2020.

“It’s difficult to know where to start,” he said. “Obviously, we started off the summer by not knowing if there was going to be any cricket at all. I was with England and we came back from Sri Lanka early and we didn’t really know what we were coming back to.

“During the first lockdown I think we were all wondering if we were going to play at any point during the year and I remember looking out of the window and thinking that it was nice weather for cricket! It was just a case of being patient.

“Some of the England players started training here at Taunton for a few weeks to get ready for the Test matches against the West Indies and Pakistan. Then I went into the England bubble for what was 60 nights, I think. We all felt really lucky that we were in that bubble so that we could be doing what we love doing.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play any cricket and I found that pretty tough. I tried to use that time to work on my game so that I was ready if I was needed to play and also with one eye on the future. I used the time to work hard and I feel really good. I feel like I’m in a really good place both mentally and physically. Hopefully, I can play some cricket soon and show people what I can do. I’m really excited about what’s to come. Obviously, it’s frustrating to be sat on the sidelines because you want to be contributing.”

Despite spending a lot of his summer not playing the game, Jack was determined to take the positives from the situation.

“I’m definitely someone who wants to make the best of every experience, and I feel like I did that pretty well this summer. I’m now looking to harness the benefits of all the work I did this year in the build up to the new season. I feel confident that I can do some good things and that’s a good feeling to have. I just want to get back to taking wickets.”

Although Jack was with England this summer, he actively kept himself up to date with Somerset’s exploits.

“It was great to see Somerset doing so well this year from afar,” he said. “I can’t wait to get involved again this summer. Training with the boys up until Christmas has been great. The youngsters are really pushing things in terms of fitness and everyone’s been working really hard on their skills. There’s a real buzz around the place and I’m really excited about what we can do this summer.

“It’s been really good here in Taunton over the last few weeks. Everyone’s working so hard and I can’t believe how fit and strong some of the younger lads are! There’s a really good energy around the guys at the moment and I’m excited about this group and what we can achieve. I’m looking forward to being a part of that journey.”

We spoke to Lewis Goldsworthy recently and he mentioned that Jack had helped him during his time at the Club so far.

“I feel like he’s been helping me out,” Jack said when we mentioned this to him. “We work well together, and we take little bits from each other. Everyone in the dressing room shares their knowledge and talks openly about the game, and that’s a great way to help push each other forward. You definitely get something back from helping others. I get on really well with Lewis. He’s got a great character and I like the way he goes about things.”

What’s it like having the whole squad together at this time of the year?

“There’s not usually very many people here at this time of the year, so this is really helping to create a good group feeling. There’s a definite sense that we’re working on something together and that’s really exciting and can only be a good thing. Hopefully, that will see us hit the ground running when we start next season.”

Jack is once again looking forward to the challenge of Test cricket in Sri Lanka.

“It was really nice to get the call and it’s always an honour to be named in an England squad,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going back to Sri Lanka and putting all that training that I’ve done to good use. Hopefully, I can put in some good performances and then we’ll see what the rest of the winter has in store.”

Jack finished with a message for the Somerset Members.

“My hope is that we can get the Somerset crowd back in to watch us play. It’s definitely not the same without them. I’d also like to wish all our Members and supporters a merry Christmas. I hope that everyone stays safe and that we can see them all in the summer. That would be really special.”

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