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Mason Crane to fly home from Test tour of New Zealand due to back injury

The leg-spinner has a stress fracture of his lower back.

England’s Mason Crane will fly home from New Zealand (Jason O’Brien/PA)
England’s Mason Crane will fly home from New Zealand (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Leg-spinner Mason Crane is to fly home from England’s Test tour of New Zealand because of a stress fracture of his lower back – and will be replaced by Jack Leach.

Crane, who made his Test debut in the final Ashes Test in Sydney in January, rejoined the squad here only this week but was unable to take the field in either of the back-to-back tour matches in Hamilton.

Slow left-armer Leach joins his first senior England tour, for a two-match series starting in Auckland next week, having been the leading spinner in the Specsavers County Championship Division One wicket-taking table over the last two seasons with 116 for Somerset.

Jack Leach will replace Mason Crane (David Davies/PA)

The 26-year-old was on the brink of a mid-tour call-up for the 2016/17 Test tour of India, only for that plan to be scuppered when it was discovered he would have to remodel his suspect action.

This winter, Leach hit form again in England Lions’ tour of the Caribbean.

He took 18 wickets in a 3-0 series defeat against West Indies A, including a Lions record match haul of eight for 110 in Jamaica last month.

Adil Rashid would have been the like-for-like leg-spin replacement for Crane, but the Yorkshireman’s status is complicated after he announced last month that he had signed a white-ball only contract for this summer with his county.

Press Association

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