Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane says he could be forced to prioritise playing in the white-ball formats over first-class cricket due to the multiple stress fractures of the back he has suffered in his career so far.
The young twirler made his England Test debut in the final game of the 2017/18 Ashes at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which the tourists lost to go down 4-0 in the series, but was forced to return home partway through the following tour to New Zealand after picking up a stress fracture in his lower back. He returned to county action for the start of the 2018 season, playing a full part of in Hampshire’s victorious One-Day Cup campaign, but was rule out of the remainder of the summer in early July.
Asked by host Will Macpherson on the Two Hacks, One Pro podcast, “When you have a couple of injuries like that, does it push you more down the white-ball route where you’re going to bowl a maximum of 10 overs a day, or four overs a day or 20 balls in The Hundred, does it push you more in that direction?”, Crane conceded that “it probably does”, and that he suffered from pain in his back throughout the 2019 summer.
“Up until I went to Australia this year with the Lions I was still definitely feeling the effects with my back, I definitely wasn’t 100 per cent the whole time,” Crane said. “It is something you look at when you’ve been injured. You worry about the overs you’re bowling, your overs are being monitored and you can only do a certain amount, and you look at a game with only four overs in and you think ‘ah, thank god for that. I can’t wait for that, turn up and bowl four overs and my job’s done, no risk.’
“Whereas you look at some days and you think ‘the wicket’s flat, a seamer’s gone down early, I’m going to have to bowl 40 overs’, your back does wince slightly. Up until now that’s been a factor but I’m confident enough now that’s all gone.”