Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Skipper Joe’s Phenomenal Record With The Ball

Skipper Joe’s Phenomenal Record With The Ball

Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach has experienced a phenomenal time with the ball since breaking back into the side after two matches of the 2015 campaign.

Leach claimed his 150th wicket in just 34 Championship games in that period during the win over Northamptonshire after initially replacing back injury victim Gareth Andrew two years ago.

The 26-year-old had his first elongated taste of being a full member of the County attack in 2014 with 33 wickets in 12 games – again when replacing Andrew after the first four matches.

But it was the following year that his contribution with the ball moved into overdrive.

He picked up 59 wickets in 14 Championship matches in 2015, 65 in 16 appearances in 2016 and now 26 in four games at the start of this summer including three five wicket hauls.

That makes 150 Championship victims in just over two years at an average of 4.41 per game.

Leach also collected the 200th first class wicket of his career at Wantage Road when he dismissed Northants opener Max Holden in the home side's first innings.

Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes also believes Leach is sensible enough to manage his bowling work load to avoid the risk of burn out later in the season.

Leach bowled a marathon 13 over spell – albeit either side of lunch – on the final day of the Championship triumph over Derbyshire at the 3aaa County Ground last week.

He sent down another 32 overs in the eight wicket win over Northamptonshire and has never been afraid of hard work and going the extra mile for the team.

But Leach has also demonstrated he is sufficiently wise to work out what is needed to last a near six month season.

When asked about the danger of possible burn-out, Rhodes said: "We hope not. We will have to keep an eye on that but he is quite a sensible lad.

"I'm pretty sure that Joe knows what he can do.

"He has got through well in previous years and I'm sure he will be planning things to get through again."