Rawlins up for fight to regain place
Delray Rawlins is determined to force his way back in the Sussex first XI.
The Bermudian all-rounder featured in the club's Specsavers County Championship second division fixtures against Kent and Nottinghamshire, but was overlooked for last week's Royal London One-Day Cup match against Middlesex at Lord's.
Instead, Rawlins featured for the Sussex second XI in their 50-Over Trophy match against Hampshire at Preston Nomads on the South Downs, scoring 43 and sharing in an 87-run partnership with century-maker Phil Salt that helped pave the way for their seven-wicket triumph.
The 19-year-old Rawlins hopes to build on that display during the second XI's 50-Over Trophy match against Middlesex at Southgate in North London today to bolster his chances of making a swift return to first-team action.
“I got a few against Hampshire the other day, I'm just trying to get myself back into a rhythm and flow really,” Rawlins said after yesterday's training session at 1st Central County Ground.
“I struck the ball quite nicely and played my shots with a little bit of freedom. It felt like I was coming back to being one score away from feeling very, very nice again, so I'm feeling very good going in.
“I'm definitely looking to regain my spot and that's how I am going to do it; scoring big runs and taking wickets in the second team. I feel like that's coming and not far around the corner, and hopefully tomorrow might be the day where I put it right again and try and force my way back in the first team.”
The former Warwick, PHC, Bailey's Bay and Bermuda player became the first Bermudian to play first-class cricket and second Bermudian-born player after David Hemp to make the grade in English County cricket in Sussex's County Championship season opener with Kent at Hove last month.
Rawlins said his inclusion in the first team caught him by surprise.
“It [first-class debut] came around probably sooner than quite a few people and myself might have expected,” he said. “If you would have told me back in September when I first signed that I would bat No 3 in the first Championship game I would have laughed at you and said ‘you have me on'. But I got stuck in and I was quite pleased to make my debut.
“It's some proper players I play against there, so I'm just trying to improve day by day to keep competing.”