England replace injured spinner Crane with Leach

Leach was called in after Mason Crane was ruled out of the tour of because of lower back stress fracture

Mason Crane has been ruled out of England's Test series against New Zealand due to injury with Somerset's Jack Leach called up as his replacement.

Worthing leg-spinner Mason Crane has been forced to withdraw from England's Test squad ahead of the upcoming series in New Zealand.

'It's tough for him, ' said England's most successful bowler Jimmy Anderson, who had back problems of his own at the start of his global career.

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Now Leach, the most prolific spinner in the county championship, will get what his many supporters in the domestic game believe to be a long overdue call-up for the two Tests here that end England's long winter. Crane could only manage 1 wicket in the fifth Test as the Australians sealed the series by winning the final Test. "Mason has got got a good head on his shoulders and I'm sure he'll come back strong", Anderson told BBC Sport.

The opening game from March 22 is New Zealand's first day-night Test, with the second match at Hagley Oval in Christchurch from March 30.

His figures against West Indies A in Jamaica were the best by an England Lions spinner, surpassing Graeme Swann's 8-156 against Zimbabwe in 1999.

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The 26-year-old Leach, a left-arm spinner, has just finished a tour to the West Indies with the England Lions where he took 18 wickets in the three four-day matches.

He had been named in the squad for England's first tour match against a New Zealand XI, which began on Wednesday, but did not play.

Sky Sports Cricket will show live coverage from both Test matches between England and New Zealand.

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