Leach Invites A Variety Of Parking Spaces In County Cricket > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Leach calls for variety of pitches in County cricket

"We look at spinning pitches negatively but, if it's seaming around, we are not too bothered."

England spinner Jack Leach thinks county cricket needs more diverse pitches to help develop rounded players for the top level.

Leach's county Somerset have been criticised for producing spin-friendly surfaces at Taunton in recent years in contrast to most of the other seam friendly pitches in the country. However, in order to be able to produce players capable of thriving in difficult overseas conditions, such as those seen in the second Test in Antigua, Leach thinks a variety of surfaces at domestic level should be encouraged by the ECB.

"We look at spinning pitches negatively but, if it's seaming around, we are not too bothered," Leach said. "That needs to be addressed, how they mark pitches. We need to challenge people to be better at cricket rather than complain about pitches. I think the surface at Antigua, we'd have not come up against it in county cricket - that might not be possible.

"There's also very few times where you spend 150 overs in the field and it's a batting paradise, then you're looking to spin them out on the final day. So as much as I think spinning pitches are important, I think playing on flat ones is too. You can't do things you haven't practised before. For me, we need players to experience different surfaces. It's important to change attitudes. That would strengthen our international teams."

England need to find some strength, and quickly, ahead of the third Test against West Indies in St Lucia, beginning on Saturday. The series may have been already gone but the tourists need to restore some lost pride after the humblings of Barbados and Antigua. Having been a key part of the three-nil whitewash of Sri Lanka last year, this tour has been a vastly different experience for Leach.

"I'm four Tests into my career and it's been two extremes," he said. "That's been interesting to experience, the highs and lows and how more experienced players go about dealing with that. It's about dusting yourself down to go again."

Having missed out on selection for the first two games, Leach may come into consideration in St Lucia if conditions dictate although that remains unlikely given the improved showing of Moeen Ali in the previous game. Despite the lack of game time, the left-arm spinner still believes he has improved whilst in the Caribbean.

"With my role I have to be patient and know when I am going to be involved or not," Leach said. "I came here last year on the A tour and it ragged square, so I came here thinking I'd be more involved. It just shows they can prepare whatever wickets they want here, I guess, and these two games I wouldn't have expected to play.

"It's been about helping the guys and learning as much as I can, working on my game to keep improving. The results haven't been good but I have been excited with what I have done with my own game. I don't feel I have wasted time, I feel like I have made improvements, definitely. I have found I've been down after the defeats even though I'm not playing and that's a real positive thing.

"I'm ready to go but I was so impressed with Mo in Antigua. We have a good relationship and his last game he bowled a serious spell and scored some runs - that showed great character after his game in Barbados. So for me he's doing a great job and I'm learning a lot from him."

Live Home Series
Player Schedule
Points Table Cricket Rankings
Cricket Clothing Cricket Equipment
Cricinfo Apps Download