Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Glasses-wearing Somerset cricketer and England hero Jack Leach gets his first free pair of specs

Somerset and England cricketer Jack Leach has been awarded free glasses for life. Credit: ITV West Country

Somerset Cricket's glasses-wearing England hero Jack Leach is getting his first free pair of specs.

The spin bowler famously kept cleaning his glasses while batting against Australia in the third Ashes test in September 2019. His and Ben Stokes' 10th wicket partnership of 76 (in which Leach scored just one run), took England to victory and made Leach a folk hero.

Jack Leach cleaning his glasses during the third Ashes test at Headingley in summer 2019. Credit: PA

Some cricket fans thought it was his way of dealing with the pressure. Others thought it gave Stokes some crucial breathing space. For Leach though, cleaning his specs was purely practical.

I was just trying to do everything I could to see the ball as well as I could. I was sweating and I've obviously got no hair so the sweat's dropping into my glasses and I was just trying to keep everything clear and then I go on Twitter afterwards and people are setting up Twitter accounts for a cloth and the glasses and they're talking to each other on Twitter and I was just like - the world's gone mad.

– Jack Leach, Somerset and England Cricketer

Leach's one not out against Australia at Headingley was one of the sporting highlights of the year and, following the win, Ben Stokes contacted Specsavers - England's Official Test Partner - requesting 'free glasses for life' for his batting partner.

And Specsavers stepped up to the crease. Ahead of England's tour to New Zealand, Leach visited the opticians' Taunton store for a full eye test and to collect his first pair of free glasses.

Jack Leach is given an eye test ahead of getting the first of his free glasses for life. Credit: ITV West Country

Leach's glasses antics have led to some spoof Twitter accounts. This one is dedicated to his lens cloth!

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Leach has even found out that people dressed up as him for Halloween. But perhaps more important than his fame is the fact that 2019's extraordinary summer of cricket has led to an increased interest in the sport - just as he was inspired at the age of 14 by his team mate Marcus Trescothick's and England's success in bringing home the Ashes in 2005.

It's nice to see people getting excited about cricket again. I remember when I was younger in 2005 watching the Ashes. An amazing summer and that got people involved in cricket and buzzing about cricket and I think we needed that again and that's definitely happened this summer.

Watching Trescothick, who's my sort of hero - incredible - and kind of thought 'I'd love to do that one day'. And to think that it's actually happened is crazy.

– Jack Leach
Marcus Trescothick in action during the Ashes in 2005. Credit: PA