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Very near the batsman, without covering head leading to complaint (7)


I believe the answer is:


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'very near the batsman without covering' is the definition.
I can't judge whether this defines the answer.

'head leading to complaint' is the wordplay.
'head' becomes 'ness' (ness is a headland).
'leading' says to put letters next to each other.
'to complaint' becomes 'ill' (synonyms).
'ness' put after 'ill' is 'ILLNESS'.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for illness that I've seen before include "Ailment, disease" , "Malady, sickness" , "Upset" , "suffering this" , "Disease, sickness" .)

I've seen this clue in The Independent.
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