Friday, February 17th, 2023


Joe Leach says fellow Worcestershire pace bowler, Josh Tongue, has the ability to go on and play for England at senior level.

Leach was impressed with Tongue’s eight wicket haul on his England Lions Test debut against Sri Lanka ‘A’ in Galle last week.

But he was unsurprised given how well Tongue adjusted back to playing at the end of last season and then with his work during the winter programme after recovering from a long-term shoulder problem.

Leach said: “Josh has got a high natural ability. Last season, any game was a bonus because he thought he wasn’t going to play at all.

“It is great seeing him back to his best. He is swinging the ball away again, which is good to see, a really good sign.

“He can absolutely play for England at the full level. Yes, he will have to prove he can stay fit enough for long enough to do that.

“But as a bowler with his ability, absolutely yes.”

Leach has been delighted to see Tongue win his fitness fight after 14 months out of action with a shoulder setback.

He said: “Josh has had a tough time, and what was really hard for him was that he couldn’t nail down what the injury was.

“It took a long time to get to that point, and living under a cloud of the unknown was tough for him.

“But delighted he has come through it, and to see him get five wickets in the first innings on his Lions debut was something special.”

Tongue is currently preparing for the white ball leg of the tour along with Worcestershire team-mate Jack Haynes.