Mason Crane: Hampshire leg-spinner amused by England talk for next Ashes

Mason Crane in action for MCC against Middlesex
Mason Crane's busy winter culminated in an appearance for MCC against Middlesex in Abu Dhabi

Hampshire's Mason Crane is amused by talk of him potentially being called up for England's next Ashes squad.

The 20-year old leg-spinner became the first overseas player to represent Australian state New South Wales last month since Imran Khan in 1984-85.

"It's difficult not to have a smile on your face," Crane told BBC Radio 5 live at being touted by some as the answer to England's spin bowling problems.

"But at the same time I'm trying to stay really realistic."

He continued: "Bowling leg spin isn't the easiest of arts. I've still got a long way to go before anything like that (an England call-up) happens.

"To be honest, right now I'm just thinking of a way to try and get in the Hampshire side."

England will be trying to retain the Ashes in Australia when the five-match series starts in Brisbane in November, and Crane's recent winter exploits in Sydney have brought him to the attention of a wider audience.

His Sheffield Shield debut followed impressive performances in Sydney Grade Cricket for Gordon CC, where he worked with former Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill.

After his cameo for NSW against South Australia in Sydney, Crane also grabbed headlines in the inaugural North v South series in UAE, taking four wickets for one run in 10 balls in the final game.

"It's been a great winter for me and hopefully I can continue that on into this season," he said.

"I've been working hard on the mental side of my game. It's about thinking batsmen out as well as actually bowling the balls, being a more intelligent bowler and working out what I can and can't do."

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