London, Jun 4 (IANS): England suffered a huge setback ahead of the upcoming five-Test Ashes series as spinner Jack Leach was ruled out pf the series on Sunday with a low back (lumbar) stress fracture.
The 31-year-old Somerset slow-left-armer developed low back symptoms during Engla'd's Test victory over Ireland on Saturday.
A scan on Sunday in London has revealed a stress fracture, which will keep him out of the forthcoming Ashes Test series, which gets underway at Edgbaston on Friday (June 16).
England will announce a replacement for the Ashes series in due course.
England had announced their squad on Saturday with Fast bowler Josh Tongue retaining his place in an unchanged 16-member squad, which is playing the ongoing match against Ireland, for the first two Ashes Tests against Australia.
Tongue was a late addition to England's squad to face Ireland in the one-off Test at Lord's after fellow pacers Ollie Robinson and James Anderson picked up ankle and groin niggles respectively in the County Championship, and has been among the wickets in the ongoing match. The performance at Lord's has led to him now being named in England's squad for the first two Ashes matches.
Though Robinson and Anderson missed out on featuring in the Ireland Test due to the niggles, they are expected to be fit in time for the opening Ashes Test. It also means that wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes will not feature in the opening two matches of the highly-anticipated series.