Con­fi­dent Crane hopes to get Ashes chance

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By DAVID CLOUGH

MA­SON Crane’s Ashes am­bi­tions are at a level even he could scarcely have be­lieved 12 months ago.

It is just a year since the leg- spin­ner, still a teenager then, ar­rived in Aus­tralia with a hand­ful of pro­fes­sional matches on his CV hop­ing to im­press and de­velop with Sydney- based Gor­don Cricket Club.

His up­ward curve last win­ter took him far be­yond that as New South Wales noted his progress suf­fi­ciently to break the Aus­tralian mould with a rare over­seas draft­ing into their Sh­effield Shield team.

Be­fore Christ­mas, Crane was be­ing men­tioned in dis­patches by Eng­land’s Aus­tralian coach Trevor Bayliss – and eight months later he was named in Joe Root’s Ashes squad. Crane is not about to set­tle for that alone ei­ther, bold enough af­ter his two wick­ets in the tour- open­ing draw against a Western Aus­tralia XI in Perth to pro­nounce him­self ready to help re­tain the urn.

“Ev­ery­one’s main aim is to go home hav­ing won the Ashes,” he said.

“Any way I can con­trib­ute to that, and play as many games as I can, that will be great.”

Crane was in­cluded at the WACA af­ter first- choice spin­ner Moeen Ali in­jured his side, and with the all- rounder still un­avail­able for this week’s day- night match against a Cricket Aus­tralia XI in Ade­laide, op­por­tu­nity may knock again for the 20- year- old. “I’ve got to be re­al­is­tic,” he added. “Mo is ob­vi­ously a bril­liant bowler, and he bats a lot higher than I do. But I’ll keep work­ing hard.”

He in­tends to put last year’s Aus­tralian ad­ven­ture to good use too. “I loved it out here,” he said. “It was great fun ... and I was very lucky to get a game un­der my belt as well for New South Wales at the SCG.

“I hope I can use that ex­pe­ri­ence on this tour.”

Crane’s leg- spin ed­u­ca­tion be­gan when as a child he saw Shane Warne in the 2005 Ashes.

Although the Aus­tralia great played, like Sus­sex- born Crane, for Hamp­shire, he has yet to ben­e­fit from a full- on tu­to­rial with Warne.

“I’ve met him in Eng­land, very briefly. He just said ‘ keep spin­ning it’, like he does to most peo­ple,” Crane said.

“There has been a crack at try­ing to tee up [ a longer meet­ing]. But he’s a very busy man, and I’ve got to get used to that. I hope one day I can have a bowl with him.” Eng­land bol­wer Ma­son Crane

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