MASON Crane believes he is a better bowler than before his injury after altering his action during his ten-month injury lay-off.

The Hampshire leg-spinner has not played since helping Hampshire win the Royal London One-Day Cup final last June.

But he has used his time wisely and believes he is a better bowler than he was ten months ago after tweaking his action.

He said: “I’ve not had to adjust anything [due to the injury] but I’ve chosen to.

“The first sign of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result so I’ve changed a couple of little things.

“I’m not sure people will notice it looking from the side but that’s more to improve myself.

“I saw it as a nine-month period before my next game where I could work on a few things.

“Before I was by no means a perfect bowler but I feel I’m better than I was and that’s a really positive step for me.

“I’ve used this time wisely to try and improve myself and hopefully, now I’m fully fit, I can show what I’ve worked on.

“There are a few things in my action that weren’t necessarily bad things but are things I’d have liked the opportunity to change before.

“The way my schedule has been the last few years, I never had enough time to really work on something and improve it, to make that adjustment for a long period of time.

“I’m really grateful for that time now because in the next few years this will have benefited me and make my cricket better in all three aspects.

“I’ve felt really good in pre-season, the ball’s been coming out really nicely and a lot more consistently.”

Crane’s intelligent use of his time is reminiscent of how Shane Warne used his year out in 2003.

As Warne used to do before every Ashes series, Crane has also hinted he may add a new delivery to his repertoire this season

“As a leg-spinner there’s an ongoing discovery of what you can and can’t do,” he continued.

“There are things I started work on nearly two years ago that haven’t been ready for a game.

“But now I feel a lot more confident and having not played for so long there are probably balls I’ve been bowling for a while that not many people have seen.

“It’s been really frustrating at times but I’m through it now and I think I’ve learnt a lot about myself and my game because of it. Hopefully I can put it into practice this year.”

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Mason Crane and Liam Dawson at Hampshire's pre-season photo call

As expected, Crane did not play in Hampshire’s first two matches of the season against Essex and Yorkshire.

“I understand why - I bowl leg spin in England at the age of 22 and Liam Dawson’s also in the side,” continued the former academy bowler, who took 4-38 for the 2nd XI last week.

“If I was a coach I’d probably be doing the same but I’m still be pushing my case the only way I can and that's by bowling well.

“After a long winter it’s just nice to get outside again and feeling really good.”

The Royal London One-Day Cup is starting earlier than ever this year - Hampshire play their first game against Kent, a re-run of last season's final, on Wednesday - but Crane, the county's leading 50-over bowler last season, should feature at some stage before the group campaign concludes on May 5.

He suffered a recurrence of the stress fracture that he first suffered on England duty 13 months ago during last year’s semi-final against Somerset before bowling through the pain barrier in the final - his last first-team appearance.

“I probably pushed it too hard too soon,” he continued.

“But at the same time I think I had to because the 50-over schedule was tough and we had Daws (Liam Dawson) out with a broken finger so I had to step up for the team.

“Sadly I got injured but I’d do it again to get a trophy for the team. I’ll never forget winning my first trophy for Hampshire with my mates.

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Mason Crane (centre) celebrates Hampshire's Royal London One-Day Cup win last year

“It was an amazing day and I’d love to replicate a memory like that. It was the last game of the season for me, it had a real end- of-season feel to it because I knew I was leaving everything I had on the field.

“I had an injection before to try and easy some of the pain.

“How much that worked I’m not too sure as I was in a lot of pain throughout the day but I loved every minute of it and it’s something I’d do again.

“I was facing six months out regardless of whether I had an injection, but if I played the whole t20 a there could have been an issue with playing this season.

“We all understood the risk for one game. The medical professionals were comfortable with it and I was comfortable with it so there were no worries pushing the green light and going for it.

“To win a trophy like that at Lord’s, I’d do it 100 times over.”

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Mason Crane (right) celebrates his run out of Alex Blake in last year's Royal London One-Day Cup final against Kent at Lord's