Mason Crane: Hampshire leg-spinner proud of New South Wales selection

Mason Crane
Mason Crane took six wickets in his two appearance for the South in UAE

Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane admitted he was "extremely proud" to play Sheffield Shield cricket for New South Wales during an eventful winter.

Crane, 20, became the first overseas player to represent the Australian state side since Imran Khan in 1985.

He followed it up with an impressive couple of displays in the North v South series in UAE as the South won 3-0.

"It's a very different pressure being an overseas player in Australia than a local one that's for sure," Crane said.

He found himself called into the New South Wales set-up after impressing during his winter placement in Sydney grade cricket for Gordon CC.

Former Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill was instrumental in his inclusion for the game against South Australia earlier this month and became Crane's mentor down under.

"He really helped me through the nerves and the pressure on the first day of that game," Crane told Test Match Special.

"He presented me with my cap and you really feel the history of it when you play for a team like NSW and 742 is the number on your cap.

"A fair few people have donned that blue cap and it was an amazing experience and an absolute honour."

Crane produced match figures of 5-116, but had little time to bask in his achievement as he headed straight to UAE for the 50-over North v South series.

A 3-0 whitewash alongside Hampshire team-mates James Vince, Liam Dawson and Tom Alsop saw Crane take the headlines in Tuesday's final game in Abu Dhabi with four wickets for one run in the space of 10 balls.

But, despite a headline-grabbing few weeks, the young spinner is staying level-headed ahead of the new domestic season.

"I've got to understand I'm still quite young and a long way down the pecking order," he said. "I'll just keep doing my stuff for Hampshire and hope this year I can go on from there.

Crane's next game will be for MCC in Abu Dhabi against county champions Middlesex from Sunday.

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