YORKSHIRE’S Dom Leech suffered a sickening left leg injury fielding on the boundary as only 23.2 overs were bowled on day three of the Roses match at Emerald Headingley.

The fast bowler, 20, was injured as he raced around from wide long-on to deep midwicket to save a ball hit by Lancashire’s Luke Wells, who moved to 97 and the visitors 411 for two in their first innings.

Leech saved the four, only to lose his footing beyond the boundary and fall into the concrete foundations of the Western Terrace.

This happened at 2.15pm, and Leech was in immediate agony.

He was treated for approximately 15 minutes by medics before being stretchered off with his leg in a brace and taken to hospital.

Tea was immediately called with only 7.2 overs bowled in the afternoon.

Umpires Ian Gould and Nigel Llong then made two inspections of the bowlers’ run-ups at the Emerald Stand End, where Jordan Thompson had earlier slipped whilst bowling, and play was abandoned at 4.25pm.

A short Yorkshire statement read: “Play has been abandoned for the day due to unfit and unsafe conditions.

“Water has risen to the surface in key areas, where there has been most activity, including the bowlers run-ups.”

Play had only started at 12pm due to a wet outfield following a full washout on day two due to rain.

Lancashire advanced from 273 for two from 96 overs overnight to 342 for two in 110 overs, claiming three batting points to Yorkshire’s none for bowling.

The last time a team opted to bowl in the Championship and failed to claim a bowling bonus point with the opposition facing the full 110 overs came in 2011 when Middlesex made 496 for two in 119 overs versus Leicestershire at Lord’s.

It also happened to Yorkshire against Sussex at Hove in the same season.

Wells and Josh Bohannon started day three on 36 and eight and advanced their second-wicket partnership to 155 unbroken.

Both went beyond fifty during a 70-minute morning session and were in the process of accelerating towards a declaration when the injury to Middlesbrough-born Leech occurred in the Headingley sunshine.

Before play Leech had been awarded his second-team Yorkshire cap by skipper Steve Patterson alongside all-rounder George Hill and Steve Patterson.

He has bowled 17 overs for 79 on Championship debut having played in last season’s Bob Willis Trophy. His father and girlfriend were watching on.

Talking about Leech, Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale said: “Our physio (Kunwar Bansil) has taken Dom to hospital in his car. The ambulance said they would take two hours. That’s all we know really.

“Whether it’s the slip that’s caused it and it’s something functional with the knee or whether hitting the concrete is what’s caused it, I don’t know.

“In many ways, I hope it’s a break rather than a tear in the ligament or something.

“You have to feel for the lad. It’s the first game he’s played in the first team. He’s a tough cookie is Dom, and he was in a lot of pain. It was sad to see. Hopefully he’ll be okay.”

On the abandonment, Gale said: “You have two of the most experienced umpires in the country (in Nigel Llong and Ian Gould). So whatever decision they make is what’s right by the game.

“They felt that as the day went on and there was more traffic on that side of the pitch (Emerald Stand End) and the run-ups, it was bringing water up.

“With their experience, they probably didn’t want a situation where someone like a Jimmy Anderson runs in and rolls his ankle. They didn’t think it was fit for play.

“Fair play to Lancashire because they’re bossing the game and they seemed okay about it.

“I didn’t see the ground this morning because I was in the indoor nets. But I trust Ian and Nigel to make the right decision.

“They wanted to get play on, and whatever decision they made, I would have backed it.”

A dramatic day has led Yorkshire making an urgent announcement on the relaying of their outfield.

In a club statement, they said: “Following a large amount of rain throughout the day and during the night on Monday, the start of day three of the Roses game at Emerald Headingley was delayed.

“Play then began at midday but only 23.2 overs were possible before the umpires brought the players off the field due to an unfit and unsafe outfield. Play was later abandoned for the day with the conditions not having improved sufficiently.

“Umpires Ian Gould and Nigel Llong deemed the outfield fit for a 12pm start, but conditions worsened as the afternoon went on with water rising to the surface in some of the key playing areas where the most activity had taken place, including on the bowler’s run ups. This was primarily at the Emerald Stand of the ground.

“Analysis of the outfield at that end has previously taken place and has identified issues with a layer of thatch that can cause a build up of water on the surface following heavy rain-fall.

“The club had originally planned to get the outfield re-laid prior to the 2021 season but unfortunately difficulties arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in this being delayed.

“The Club intend on completing this work at the end of this season.”