Rawlins named in Bermuda squad
Delray Rawlins is a surprise inclusion and captain OJ Pitcher a noticeable absentee from a Bermuda training squad preparing for two tournaments next year.
Rawlins, who toured India with England Under-19 this year, is playing in Australia with Sydney Cricket Club as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s International Pathway programme. The Sussex all-rounder has returned home to spend the Christmas holidays with his family.
Lloyd Smith, the Bermuda Cricket Board president, admits it is unlikely Rawlins will feature for the island in those tournaments — the Americas Twenty20 sub-regional qualifier and the World Cricket League Division Four — as he will still be playing in Australia.
“[Delray] is under contract in Australia until the last week of March and then comes back and is under contract with Sussex,” said Smith, the newly elected president.
“Bermuda supports his professional career and if Sussex allows him to be available then he’ll be, but if the coach feels he needs to be there to get into the first team then he’ll stay there.”
Rawlins was one of eight players awarded an overseas placement and has been playing in the New South Wales Premier League and training with the New South Wales state squad.
Pitcher, the Bermuda captain, missed the island’s tour to Toronto in September having been taken to hospital after collapsing during an Eastern Counties match.
The St David’s batsman has not played since, although his absence does not come as a big surprise, as he is still being monitored and is understood to be scheduled for further tests overseas.
Pitcher played in the Gosling’s Invitational golf tournament at Port Royal Golf Course and Belmont Hills Golf Club this month.
Bermuda have been pitted against host nation Argentina, Cayman Islands and Surinam in the sub-regional T20 qualifier from February 25 to March 4. The top two countries will advance to the regional finals to be held in 2019.
Bermuda will also play in the World Cricket League Division Four tournament in Malaysia from April 26 to May 4. The top two teams from the six-team competition will gain promotion.
“The BCB has a very important four-month period ahead of us for the national senior squad, with two ICC tournaments following each other in quick succession,” Smith added.
“The goal of the BCB is for promotion in both competitions, and an exacting preparation plan is in place to provide a platform for the players to be successful. The BCB has continued its policy of extending the net for players interested in representing the country, with 41 players having been invited to train.
“I encourage all players and clubs, their families and our community to get fully behind and commit to the programme to provide the best chance of Bermuda being successful in the upcoming months.”
The squad contains several players who made the trip to Toronto, including Terryn Fray, who captained that team in the absence of Pitcher, and former captain Janeiro Tucker, who is the most senior player in the squad.
Stephen Outerbridge, a former Bermuda captain, is one of ten players from Bailey’s Bay in the training squad, including wicketkeeper Sinclair Smith and seam bowlers Kyle Hodsoll, Nirobi Mills, Malachi Jones and Zeko Burgess. Kamau Leverock, who returned home to play in Cup Match for Somerset and the Eastern Counties Cup for Flatts last summer, is one of several overseas-based players selected.
Others include Alex Dore, Cameron Jeffers, Christian Burgess, Chris Douglas, Jordan Smith, Chare Smith, Nzari Paynter, brothers Okera and Onias Bascome, and Joshua Gilbert.
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