Spinner Jack Leach will miss the rest of England’s tour of South Africa through illness.
The Somerset man will return home to the UK after failing to recover fully from sepsis, gastroenteritis and flu. He was hit with illness before the first Test last month.
It has been decided by the England medical team that he should now return home. The decision was taken because he can’t reach a level of fitness to be considered for selection.
It means Leach’s Somerset team-mate Dom Bess is likely to continue in the team for the third Test.
That takes place in Port Elizabeth on Thursday with the teams given an equal chance of success by the bookmakers.
South Africa and England are both priced at 2.25 (5/4) with bet365 to come out on top. The draw is 6.00 (5/1).
Leach heading home to fully recover
“It has been an unfortunate time for Jack with illness and since the Test series in New Zealand six weeks ago, he hasn’t been able to get 100 per cent fit,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood.
“This has hampered his preparation in South Africa and despite his best endeavours he is not in a position to make himself available for selection for the final two Test matches.
“He is a great lad to have around the squad and his infectious personality and popularity will be missed. However, his focus has to be getting himself better and receiving the optimum levels of recovery and treatment, which is best served back in England without any distractions.
“I have no doubt that he will return to full fitness in the medium-term and hopefully he will recover in time for our tour of Sri Lanka in March.”