Mason Crane, the Hampshire leg-spinner, has given an insight into his battle with multiple stress fractures over the last couple of years, revealing how long hours of bowling at a stretch took a heavy toll on his back.
Speaking on the Two Hacks, One Pro podcast, Crane explained how spinners are generally typecast as workhorses with the ability to bowl from dawn to dusk, with little concern over the physical stress that comes with it.
“Where do I start? I like to think it’s the amount of revs I’m getting on the ball, it’s not natural,” said Crane. “But realistically I think it’s purely just the amount I bowled up to that point. When I got the first one I’d bowled so much, had such a heavy winter. You hear all the time, ‘you have to be able to bowl hours every day, spinners should be able to bowl and bowl and bowl.”
Crane, 23, made his international debut in the Sydney Test of the 2017/18 Ashes, but had to be left out of the subsequent New Zealand tour after experiencing pain in his back. He returned to honour his Hampshire duties at the start of the 2018 season, but a recurrence of the same injury ruled him out of the remainder of the season.
Given the danger of a recurrence, Crane admitted that he might have to prioritise the shorter formats over first-class cricket, conceding that his long, lively run-up further puts him under the risk of contracting an injury.
“Back in the day, they used to turn up at nine and bowl until it dark and that’s how you got better. You have to try and do that and replicate it up to a point, and I guess I just bowled so much – I don’t walk in, by any means, I’m still running in, admittedly it’s not as far as a seamer, but it’s still jogging to an extent, so I guess eventually something was going to happen.”