Leach, who was playing in his first home Test match since the Ashes in 2019, suffered the injury in the sixth over of the match, as he chased a Devon Conway drive to the backward point boundary.
As Leach dived, successfully dragging the ball back from the edge of the rope, he landed heavily on his head, and appeared to injure his neck in the process. New Zealand’s medical team were the first on the scene, and attended to him for several minutes before he was able to walk from the field of play back to the pavilion.
However, after subsequent examination from the ECB medical team, the decision was taken to withdraw him from the match.
“Jack Leach has symptoms of concussion following his head injury whilst fielding,” read an ECB statement. “As per concussion guidelines, he has been withdrawn from this Test.”
The incident was the only blemish to a remarkable first morning of the Test series for England, who reduced New Zealand to 27 for 5, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad sharing three early wickets before Matt Potts, on debut, struck twice before lunch.