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Rawlins pens pro contract with Sussex

Step in right direction: Rawlins has been offered a pro contract(Photograph by Sussex CCC)

Delray Rawlins has signed a professional contract with his English team Sussex, moving a step closer to becoming the first Bermudian to play county cricket.

The Bermuda Under-19 captain, who scored a century for the Sussex second XI this month, has signed a one-year contract after a successful season with the Sussex Academy.

Last month he completed his education at Bede’s Senior School by being named Sportsman of the Year, and was has also been selected in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Young Lions International Pathway group for the winter.

The 19-year-old has been selected in a group to attend training camps in both Loughborough and Dubai in November and December, possibly being included on the Lions tour to India early next year.

More than 50 players between the ages of 17 and 30 have been selected for involvement with England development teams. It is unknown whether Rawlins is available for Bermuda’s ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament in Los Angeles next month.

The middle-order batsman opted not to return to Bermuda for Cup Match and the Eastern Counties when he was eligible to make his debut for Bailey’s Bay, choosing to commit to the Sussex Academy and pursue his dream of earning a place in the England Under-19 squad.

Rawlins, who also bowls slow left-arm, has not played in Cup Match since making his debut for St George’s two years ago at the age of 16 at Somerset Cricket Club, scoring 55 runs and taking three wickets.

Proud mother, Denise, said Rawlins has remained focused on his dreams since first moving to England five years ago.

“Delray’s father [Millard Rawlins] and I, as well as all the family and friends who have supported him, are very proud of his accomplishment,” she said.

“It was definitely a sacrifice and a difficult transition for us all when Delray decided at 14 that he wanted to move to the UK to follow his dream of becoming a professional cricketer.

“Thanks to Clay and Nicky Smith and their family, for taking him in as their own and helping us through that process. Delray has worked hard, stayed focused and used all the tools that were given to him.

“He has not wavered from his goal. It was tough at times for him but his father always told him, ‘Stay to the wicket and the runs will come’, and they did. Being in the UK has matured Delray tremendously.

“He has been able to handle the pressures of cricket life and we are all sure he will grow and grow and move closer towards a very prosperous cricket career.”