Jack Leach was so ill he thought he was going to die on tour in New Zealand.
And for good reason too as the England spinner fought sepsis in a Kiwi hospital before flying home early from the tour last November.
Leach suffers from Crohn's disease which affects the 28-year-old's immune system so when a bout of gastroenteritis in the first Test gave way to sepsis, a type of blood poisoning, his life was in danger.
“I didn't know too much about it at the time, how serious it could be,” said Leach. “But I remember feeling very, very ill.
“I remember thinking 'don't fall asleep because you might not wake up'. It was that serious in terms of how I was feeling. I was out of it really.
“That's when they called an ambulance and got me to hospital. Once I got there, got the antibiotics in my arm and on to a drip, I started to feel better quite quickly but it still took a couple of nights in hospital and I was probably still recovering when I flew back from New Zealand. It took longer to get over than I thought.”
Leach's winter of discontent continued into South Africa where he was one of the hardest hit by a couple of different viruses that swept through the squad.
And that is why he feels almost relieved to be in Sri Lanka now where coronavirus cases are significantly lower than in the UK.
“I picked up a couple of things out in South Africa and my body couldn't cope with it,” he added.
“Other people got ill but I struggled to fight it off as well as a healthy person. The medication I'm on for Crohn's weakens my immune system, so it is just a bit more of a struggle.
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