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Delray Rawlins backs Kamau Leverock to get Bermuda over the line in Antigua

Confident mood: Delray Rawlins reverse-sweeps in a match against Canada during the 2019 qualifiers in Bermuda

Delray Rawlins is excited to rejoin his Bermuda team-mates and showcase his talents on the international cricket stage again.

The Sussex all-rounder has been included in the national team that will compete at the T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in Antigua from November 7 to 14 and is up for the challenge.

“I’m looking forward to the Americas competition,” Rawlins told The Royal Gazette.

“I think we have a strong team and having qualified last time around is something that should fuel us to back it up.”

Bermuda finished runners-up in the previous tournament, which the island hosted in 2019, to advance to the global qualifier along with Canada.

However, the island’s hopes of appearing in the T20 World Cup for the first time in the United Arab Emirates where they shut out, losing all six matches played.

Rawlins will be keen to pick up in Antigua where he left off in England, having stroked a season-high 58 from 46 balls in Sussex’s nine-wicket defeat at home to Derbyshire in their final match of the LV= Insurance County Championship at the 1st Central County Ground last month.

It was an encouraging knock that has helped to restore the player’s confidence after struggling for consistency at the crease throughout the season in both forms of the game.

“I would say personally it was a tough season for me,” Rawlins said. “With a bit of luck here and there, things could have been different.

“But that’s how it goes. Just got to keep improving.”

The 24-year-old is part of a new-look Bermuda squad that boasts fellow overseas-based players Okera Bascome and Kamau Leverock, while most of the island’s leading domestic players in the 20-overs format are also included.

All-rounder Leverock will captain the team for the first time.

“I’m happy for Kamau, being a very close friend of mine,” Rawlins added. “I hope he does well and leads us to qualification.”

Top-order batsmen Chris Douglas and Tre Manders are among the returning faces in the squad, which no longer boasts all-rounder Janeiro Tucker, who has retired from the international scene.

The squad also features Allan Douglas Jr, who is fresh off an outstanding summer with the bat, scoring three centuries including a season-high score of 146, to help guide St George's to the Twenty20 Premier Division title.

Russell Richardson, the Bermuda manager, has high expectations for the team.

“We have a team that is probably unparalleled for the last 20 years,” he said. “We have all of the high performers from the past season in the squad.”

Bermuda’s players have trained under the guidance of head coach Herbie Bascome, assistant coach Clay Smith, analyst Lorenzo Tucker and consultant and former coach Gus Logie since August.

“We have had very intense training three to five days per week and the team spirit is high,” Richardson added.

“The players are really up for it. They are training well as a team and the vibe is very good.”

Richardson is also encouraged by the seamless transition all-rounder Leverock has made to his new role as captain.

“Kamau has adopted well and always confers with the coaching staff, especially with Logie,” he said. “He is doing a good job.”

Richardson says having the expertise of former West Indies Test player Logie, who coached Bermuda to an historic first World Cup appearance in 2007, at the team’s disposal is a huge asset.

“It’s a major bonus,” he added. “He is always sharing his expertise as a consultant, and the players are very responsive.”

The national cricket team depart for Antigua on Friday.

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Published October 26, 2021 at 8:01 am (Updated October 27, 2021 at 8:00 am)

Delray Rawlins backs Kamau Leverock to get Bermuda over the line in Antigua

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