Hampshire pair preparing to resume England international careers
Hampshire pair Sam Northeast and Mason Crane are preparing to resume their international careers.
The duo were this week in Loughborough attending an England Lions squad get-together ahead of a tour of Australia starting next month.
Crane is part of a 16-man squad set to contest five 50-over matches against Cricket Australia and New South Wales XIs.
The spinner knows Australian conditions well, having impressed to such an extent in Sydney Grade Cricket in 2017 that he became New South Wales’ first overseas player in 33 years.
A year later, in January 2018 and still a few weeks ahead of his 21st birthday, Crane made his England Test debut at Sydney - a sobering experience as he returned figures of 1-193 as Australia rattled up 649-7 declared.
Crane has been a regular in Hampshire’s 50-over team in the last two Royal London Cup campaigns - taking 29 wickets over the two campaigns where the county reached two Lord’s finals.
Northeast comes into the squad for the second half of the tour which features three four-day games against Australia A, a Cricket Australia XI and a New South Wales XI.
The 31-year-old is also no stranger to Australian conditions, though unlike Crane he has never played international cricket in the country.
Northeast first played in Australia for Sydney CC at grade level in 2010 and has since made a handful of returns to first play for and then captain Queensland club Sunshine Coast Scorchers.
Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory has been chosen to skipper the Lions in both sections of the tour.
County colleague Tom Abell will be his vice captain for the one-dayers and Lancashire’s Keaton Jennings will take over the role for the four-day matches.
‘I’m fortunate to have some good experience around me,’ said Gregory.
‘It’s important to have reliable people to turn to for advice, as well as players who have experience of playing in Australian conditions, such as Mason Crane, Craig Overton and Richard Gleeson.
‘It promises to be a tough but rewarding tour and one that will help all of us improve our games in unfamiliar conditions.’
Northeast, who last played for the Lions on a tour of the West Indies in 2018, won his latest England call up on the back of a fine 2019 County Championship season.
He compiled 969 runs for Hampshire at an average of 51.00, and only two players in the top flight scored more - present and past England batsmen Dom Sibley (1,324) and Gary Ballance (975).