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Live video: Delray Rawlins helps to steady Sussex with solid 18

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Social conscience: Delray Rawlins and his Sussex team-mates will launch the new County Championship season today with a show of unity (Photograph courtesy of Sussex CCC)
Delray Rawlins

Delray Rawlins scored a credible 18 against Lancashire on the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship season at Emirates Old Trafford.

The Bermuda all-rounder joined in-form Tom Haines at the wicket with Sussex under the gun at 40-4 after earlier reeling at 14-3.

Rawlins and Haines steadied the ship, adding 62 runs before Rawlins was out lbw to Luke Wood after facing 36 balls.

Rawlins was praised by the commentators for his sharp running between the wickets.

Before today, Rawlins had impressed with the bat during his team’s preseason friendlies against Surrey and Hampshire, stroking 26 not out and 47 respectively.

Rawlins will now look to continue his promising form should he get the nod in the four-day match.

He said: “I’m just trying to help the team win as much as possible.

“Sometimes it might in the field, doing a job with the ball or doing a job with the bat.

“I am driven by winning, as many of us are at the club,.”

The 23-year-old has high expectations for Sussex this season. “Obviously we are a young team,” he said. “But I think we if we have that mindset and that mentality, we will go big places.”

Ian Salisbury, the new head coach after the off-season departure of Jason Gillespie, is equally as excited about the prospects for 2021.

“I’m hugely excited and genuinely optimistic about this group of players,” Sailsbury told the club’s official website. “I couldn’t have asked for more from the guys over the winter.

“There’s a great team ethic and lots of good conversations around the group as they look to help each other. James [Kirtley] and I have talked about winning off the pitch, and they’ve certainly been doing that. Now it is time to turn our attention to winning on the pitch as well.”

Tom Haines was the leading run-scorer from Sussex’s two preseason friendlies, hitting a century against Surrey and 72 against Hampshire. Ben Brown, the captain, made a half-century in each match and Tom Clark scored 73 at the Kia Oval. Jack Carson, Henry Crocombe and George Garton each took four wickets across the two fixtures.

“The signs from our preseason games were really encouraging,” Salisbury added.

“We’d had fantastic net facilities in the marquee thanks to Ben Gibson and his team but hadn’t had the chance to practise in the middle, so to go straight from nets into those two matches and do well was brilliant.

“I remain humbled and honoured to be in the position I am in and absolutely can’t wait for the season to get under way.”

Sussex are without opening batsman Phil Salt, who injured his right foot in a bike collision before the preseason friendlies.

“We wish Phil a speedy recovery,” Salisbury said.

“As an important part of our line-up, he will be missed. But the situation presents an opportunity for someone to come in and contribute.”

Sussex will take part in a show of unity before the match as part a commitment to throughout competitions under the auspices of the England and Wales Cricket Board to eradicate any form of discrimination from cricket.

This comes on the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement that swept through Britain in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and passionate outcry by the likes of West Indies fast-bowling legend Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent, the first Black woman to play for England.

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Published April 08, 2021 at 8:52 am (Updated April 08, 2021 at 12:35 pm)

Live video: Delray Rawlins helps to steady Sussex with solid 18

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