Delray Rawlins missed by Sussex team-mates
Ravi Bopara, the Sussex Sharks captain, says the talents of Bermudian team-mate Delray Rawlins have been missed in the Vitality Blast this season.
The Bermuda captain has been granted a personal leave of absence and is back on island playing for Premier Division 50 Overs leaders Bailey’s Bay while also helping coach Niraj Odedra’s preparations for the national team’s ICC T20 World Cup Americas Regional Qualifier on home soil in September.
“He [Delray] was a guy who opened the bowling for us, left-arm spin up the hill,” Bopara, the former England all-rounder, told local Sussex newspaper The Argus.
“He had a really good record bowling up the hill. That’s hard to replace, a left-arm spinner who bowls well into the wind to a short boundary.”
Sussex have struggled in Rawlins’s absence with just two victories in their eight matches in the domestic T20 tournament and they were thrashed at home on Friday by Surrey, losing by 124 runs.
The county, though, are keeping a close eye on Rawlins while continuing to offer support.
“Delray went home to Bermuda about three weeks ago and asked for some time away from the game, which we gave him,” Paul Farbrace, the Sussex head coach, said.
“We’ve been supporting him with that, liaising with him and his agent in England on quite a regular basis. At some point we will be able to update you on where that has got to.”
Rawlins, who has a weekly column in The Royal Gazette, has spoken about the need to “take a bit of time to myself”.
“It was just something I felt I needed personally and I was given the time to do so by the club,” he said.
“There is no date as of right now when I’ll be back at Hove, but it’s just one of those things where it’s myself and the club speaking weekly or every couple of days to monitor it.”
Rawlins is expected to be in Bay’s team for their Premier Division 50 Overs title decider against Cleveland today at North Field, National Sports Centre.
The 25-year-old thumped a brisk 47 from just 27 balls and took three wickets to guide Gus Logie’s team to a comfortable five-wicket win over Western Stars at Sea Breeze Oval last weekend.