<pre><pre>Ailing Leach travels home early from England's South Africa tour

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (Reuters) – The battered spinner with his left arm, Jack Leach, is returning to South Africa after being excluded from the rest of the tour of England because he's out of shape, said head coach Chris Silverwood on Tuesday.

England's Jack Leach in action action images via Reuters / Paul Childs / File Photo

The 28-year-old spinner is still feeling the effects of sepsis that he had in New Zealand in November and developed gastroenteritis and flu before the first test against South Africa in Pretoria.

"It was an unfortunate time for Jack with an illness and he hasn't been 100% fit since testing in New Zealand six weeks ago," said Silverwood in a statement from the Cricket Board of England and Wales.

"This has hampered his preparation in South Africa and despite his efforts he is unable to stand for the last two friendly matches.

“He is a great guy to have in the squad and we will lack his infectious personality and popularity. However, his focus must be on improving himself and getting the optimal level of recovery and treatment that is best served without distraction in England.

"Hopefully he will recover in time for our Sri Lanka tour in March."

Leach is the third player to leave the tour after opening batsman Rory Burns and seasoned sailor James Anderson. Both are injured.

He was also one of 17 players and employees in the back room who eventually fell ill on a trip that members of the squad called the "cursed tour".

England did not play a specialist in their first test loss to South Africa with 107 appearances, but Dom Bess was selected for the 189th win in Newlands in the second game of the four-game series.

Bess was impressed with his control and is almost certain to get another run when the third test starts on Thursday in Port Elizabeth, a wicket traditionally cheap for spinners.

Reporting by Nick Said, editor of Pritha Sarkar