5 things about Mason Crane

10 August 2017 07:54

Uncapped Hampshire spin bowler Mason Crane has been called up to the England squad for the first Test against West Indies.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things you may not know about the 20-year-old.

Got a lucky break

Crane wanted to be a leg-spinner after watching Australia great Shane Warne during the 2005 Ashes series. However, he was released by home county Sussex at Under-14 level before his college teacher Raj Maru, a former Hampshire left-arm spinner who was still involved with the county, saw his potential to take him into the side's academy.

Proved his worth in Australia

Crane became the first overseas cricketer in 32 years to make their debut for New South Wales when he played in the Sheffield Shield against South Australia in March this year. He was Down Under during the winter as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board's overseas placement scheme with Hampshire team-mate Will Smith but worked his way into former Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill's NSW after performing well for grade cricket side Gordon. The last player to achieve that feat was former Pakistan captain Imran Khan in 1984-1985.

Rapid rise to the top

The 20-year-old only made his debut for Hampshire barely two years ago and in total has made a 25 first-class appearances. After his impressive performances in Australia, Crane was selected for the inaugural North v South series in the United Arab Emirates and almost single-handedly won the third and final contest for South by taking four wickets for 39 runs under the watchful eye of England head coach Trevor Bayliss and selector Andrew Strauss. The leg-spinner has built on that success and, after earning a place in England's T20 side this summer, now worked his way into the five-day squad.

Double bouncer wicket

The Hampshire bowler had South Africa international Dean Elgar in a spin during a county championship match with Somerset in May. Crane accidentally delivered a short, wide delivery that managed to skip back towards the batsman and double-bounce at the feet of the 30-year-old before clattering into the stumps. The reaction of bowler and batsman was priceless as disbelief from the pair was clearly visible.

Notable scalps

Crane's professional career may still be at the fledgling stage, but he has claimed some notable scalps already. His first senior wicket was that of Sri Lanka ace Kumar Sangakkara, which he took on his Hampshire debut against Surrey in July 2015, while his maiden England wicket - and only one to date - was that of South Africa superstar AB de Villiers during this summer's T20 series. The youngster has several other notable names on his list of victims as well, including Mahela Jayawardene, Chris Rogers, Jonathan Trott, Jacques Rudolph, Adam Voges, Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara .

Source: PA