Rawlins ready for MCC challenge
Delray Rawlins will make history when he plays for the Marylebone Cricket Club against Essex in a four-day Champion County Match under floodlights at the Kensington Oval in Barbados today.
The Sussex all-rounder will become the first Bermudian to play for the MCC, who have visited the island on numerous occasions, when they face the English County Championship First division winners.
Rawlins, 20, told The Royal Gazette: “I'm honoured and looking forward to the game. It's a nice feeling and should be good fun.”
The former Bailey's Bay and St George's Cup Match player is also looking forward to the challenge of facing the pink ball.
“I played the pink ball in England last summer against Gloucestershire, so I've experienced it before,” Rawlins said.
“It's different obviously and it swings around a bit. It's also tough because you don't face it often, but it's a good challenge.”
Rawlins warmed up for the match by playing in the North-South Series in Barbados last week. His South side lost the series 2-1.
He scored 76 runs in three innings batting at No 5 with an average of 25.33 and a top score of 53.
Although Rawlins failed to take a wicket with his slow left arm, he led his team's economy rate (5.14).
Rawlins is keen to put in a strong performance to enhance his chances of earning a place in Sussex's first team, coached by former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie.
“It would be nice to impress him in what is a big fixture against Essex,” Rawlins told Lords.org.
“Obviously they won the competition last year and to do well for MCC would stand me in good stead. It's a really exciting time for me, especially to have the chance to put in a performance before the season really starts.
“I'm hoping to put my name in the hat for selection with Sussex. It's a young and exciting team, but there's also those older guys who have been around the international scene and I'll be looking to learn as much as I can off them.”
Gillespie, who coached Yorkshire to back-to-back County Championship titles in 2014 and 2015, succeeded Mark Davis as Sussex coach last October.
“Just seeing what he's done with the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash, and his record back in England, it's exciting to see what happens with the good squad we've got,” Rawlins told Lords.org. “I'm really looking forward to it.”
Rawlins made four appearances for Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship Second Division last season. He also helped Sussex win the Second XI Twenty20 tournament.
“I feel good to have had a bit of a look at what county cricket is about in my first full season,” Rawlins added. “Hopefully I can feature in all three formats and help the club move in the right direction.”
The MCC's team are usually ad hoc because they have never taken part in any formal competition. They last visited the island in 2011 when they beat Bermuda by 55 runs at the National Sports Centre.