Cricket

Crane receives his cap from fellow former spinner Swann.

Graeme Swann presents Mason Crane with his England cap

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It was a proud moment for young leg-spinner Mason Crane yesterday, as he was presented with his England cap by Graeme Swann ahead of making his debut in the fifth and final Ashes Test at Sydney.

Crane, who is 20, is highly-rated amongst the English ranks having featured for the Lions' development sides in recent years, however, this Ashes tour has seen the Hampshire bowler act as an understudy to regular first-choice spinner Moeen Ali.

Ali has struggled Down Under, being left behind by his counterpart Nathan Lyon, and coach Trevor Bayliss has finally opted to blood rookie Crane into the limelight of an Ashes Test match.

With the series, and the urn already relinquished following three defeats in the opening three Tests, the Sydney fixture will provide Crane with the platform to perform with significantly less pressure upon himself, having earned his place in the side for the SCG clash.

And, prior to the start of play, which was delayed due to rain, Crane received his inaugural cap, surrounded by his fellow teammates, from former two-time Ashes-winning spinner Graeme Swann.

The 38-year-old, who retired midway through the 2013/14 series in Australia, a tour that England suffered a 5-0 whitewash in, is now working as a pundit for BT Sport, and he had some words of advice for Crane.

Swann said: "Mason, congratulations on making your debut today.

Watch the moving speech below.

"This cap means so much to everyone so much around this circle, number 683, if I could pass over any advice it would be at some point today, take a minute during the drinks break and soak it all up.

"Love every minute of this because trust me, when it goes, you'll miss it like a bullet.

"It's the greatest honour you can ever have to play Test cricket for you country. I know you're good enough, you know you're good enough, just do it, and good luck."

Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes
Australia cricket
Graeme Swann
England cricket

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