Sussex won the wooden spoon last season and are rock-bottom of Division Two after two rounds of the 2022 season, following a draw and two defeats.
They have seven bowlers unavailable for their fixture against Durham at Hove this week, including Ollie Robinson, who has been ruled out after undergoing dental treatment following a recent infection.
Steven Finn, meanwhile, is unavailable due to a knee inflammation, while Jack Carson (stress fracture), Jofra Archer (elbow), Fynn Hudson-Prentice (stress fracture), George Garton (long Covid) and Dan Ibrahim (shoulder) all remain unavailable.
“We’ve got seven frontline bowlers out. It’s frustrating for myself, trying to get a side together,” Ian Salisbury, Sussex’s head coach, told BBC Radio Sussex last week. “He [Robinson] is an ECB-contracted player but obviously that’s out of our hands. That’s just the way it is.”
“I have worked with both Mason and Aaron when I coached them for England U-17s and U-19s, so I know their qualities as people and cricketers,” Salisbury said. “I’d like to say thank you to Essex and Anthony McGrath who contacted me to let me know Aaron could be of help, and the same to Hampshire. I am looking forward to working with both of them again and I know they will fit in easily with the group.”
Essex will also be without Dan Lawrence, who has a hamstring injury, and Adam Rossington, who is unavailable due to the conditions of his loan, during their fixture against Northamptonshire this week.
“The move will provide Aaron with some valuable first-team cricket, which has been hard to come by so far this season due to the wealth of talent we have had available for selection,” McGrath said. “We wish Aaron well and I’m sure he will excel during his short red-ball stint at Hove before returning for the Vitality Blast competition.”
Crane, meanwhile, went wicketless in his only appearance of the season to date against Kent at Canterbury. He made his Test debut for England in Sydney in 2018 but has struggled for opportunities since.
“This loan provides Mason with an opportunity to play first-class cricket,” Giles White, Hampshire’s director of cricket, said. “He was unfortunate to miss out on selection here but we are looking forward to seeing how he performs for Sussex.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98