Hampshire pair selected for England Lions’ tour of Australia
Hampshire pair Sam Northeast and Mason Crane have been selected for next year’s England Lions tour of Australia.
Crane, 22, is in a 16-man squad that will play five 50-over matches against Cricket Australia and New South Wales XIs in early February.
The Ageas Bowl 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 when he played against South Australia.
In January 2018, Crane made his England Test debut in the fifth Ashes Test in Australia.
Northeast, 30, has been chosen in the Lions squad that will play Australia A, a Cricket Australia XI and a New South Wales XI in three four-day matches that follow the one-day games.
That comes after he finished the 2019 County Championship campaign as the third highest runscorer in the top flight – his 969-run haul behind only Warwickshire’s Dom Sibley (1,324) and Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance (975).
The top-order batsman has represented the Lions once before - in a one-day game against Antigua in March 2018 shortly before making his first class debut for Hampshire.
Prior to that, Northeast made a solitary England under-19 Test appearance in the summer of 2009 against Bangladesh in Derby.
It was a remarkable debut as, opening the innings, he scored 107 in the first innings and 149 in the second.
Among his team-mates in that game were current Hampshire colleagues James Vince and Chris Wood as well as newly-crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year Ben Stokes.
The England team were captained by Hampshire’s Hamza Riazuddin whose once promising career quickly faded and who was released by the county in 2013.
Northeast could be taking his place in a Lions top order including England’s two most-recent Test debutants, with Sibley and Zak Crawley joining the squad at the end of the Test series in South Africa.
Keaton Jennings will look to impress at the top of the order, while Lancashire teammate Saqib Mahmood will join the squad after England’s ODI series against Australia.
Lions 50-over squad: Tom Abell (Somerset), Dom Bess (Somerset), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Henry Brookes (Warwickshire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Laurie Evans (Sussex), Richard Gleeson (Lancashire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Will Jacks (Surrey), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Yorkshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Matt Milnes (Kent), Tom Moores (Nottinghamshire), Craig Overton (Somerset).
England Lions four-day squad: Dom Bess (Somerset), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Richard Gleeson (Lancashire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Sam Northeast (Hampshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Robinson (Kent), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire), Amar Virdi (Surrey).