Matt Parkinson becomes England’s first concussion substitute after Jack Leach ruled out of New Zealand Test

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Setback: Jack Leach has been withdrawn from England’s first Test against New Zealand  (Getty Images)
Setback: Jack Leach has been withdrawn from England’s first Test against New Zealand (Getty Images)

Matt Parkinson was brought in for his long-awaited Test debut at Lord’s in the strangest circumstances – as England’s first concussion substitute.

Parkinson has been a part of England’s Test squad for the last couple of years without being handed a debut, although he has played in both white-ball formats.

But a nasty injury for Jack Leach in just the sixth over of the First Test against New Zealand saw him rushed down from Manchester to make his debut.

Leach chased a ball to the fence and dived to save a boundary off Stuart Broad, but landed awkwardly on his head. He received attention on the boundary rope, with the game pausing, before walking back to the Pavilion, smiling, to be assessed.

The assessments showed symptoms of concussion, which Leach has a long history of, and he was promptly withdrawn from the match, with Parkinson called up.

Parkinson, the 25-year-old Lancashire leg-spinner, has an excellent first-class record, with 126 wickets at an average of 24.

Leach will have to follow concussion guidelines, with a graduated return to play. He will be sidelined for a minimum of seven days, so is likely out of the Trent Bridge Test, too.

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