England call up Crane for South Africa home series

Mason Crane. Picture: Neil Marshall
Mason Crane. Picture: Neil Marshall
Sam Northeast. Picture: davevokes.photography

White thrilled by Hampshire firepower

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MASON CRANE been given his maiden England call-up for the Three Lions’ twenty20 three-match series with South Africa.

The 20-year-old joins county team-mate Liam Dawson’s in Eoin Morgan’s 16-man squad.

And the duo could be selected for England’s opener against the Proteas on Wednesday, June 21 at the Ageas Bowl.

Crane is one of five uncapped players to be called up to the side along with Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Tom Curran and Craig Overton.

The leg-spinner is one of the brightest youngsters in England.

Crane made his debut for Hampshire in 2015 in their t20 match victory against Surrey.

The talented bowler quickly made a name for himself by dismissing former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara and ex-England international Vikram Solanki.

Last winter he spent time playing Grade cricket in Australia and created history while he was there.

Crane became the first overseas player since Imran Khan in 1985 to play in the Sheffield Shield for New South Wales.

Chairman of selectors James Whitaker explained England’s decision behind picking the Hampshire’s youngster.

He said: ‘Mason Crane is a player with great promise and he has made great strides with Hampshire this season.

‘He has added to his experience with stints in the North-South series earlier in the season, where he took crucial wickets and even earned selection for New South Wales in Australia’s premier domestic competition, the Sheffield Shield.’

Dawson made his England t20 debut at the Ageas Bowl last summer against Sri Lanka.

The off-spinner handled the pressure well and ended with figures of three for 27 as the Three Lions cruised to an eight-wicket win.

Veterans Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jake Ball will all return for county duty and miss the series.