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Delray has the perfect temperament to be successful

Delray Rawlins has made a significant step towards being a professional cricketer. This week he signed with Sussex Cricket Academy after going there for a trial and training with the first-team professionals.

Months ago news broke that Delray had been put into the Emerging Talent Programme by his school, Bede's. This programme is designed to give additional and specific training to athletes at the school who are deemed exceptional and have a high chance of becoming a professional.

Merely months after being in this elite programme, success has come his way. Delray signed on the dotted line this week with Sussex Cricket Academy.

He contacted me moments after hearing the news and, naturally, I was ecstatic. I knew how much he and his family had wanted this, as his dream was one step closer to becoming a reality. This is just the first step of what I am sure will be a successful career for him. What makes Delray special is not only is he talented, but he has the right temperament to be successful.

Instantaneously, I requested an interview with Delray so that he could share his story with Bermuda and he obliged.

Q: How did the experience with Sussex come about?

A: The chance came about through my coach at school, former Sussex and England player Alan Wells, setting me up with the opportunity to trial with Sussex.

Q: What exactly have Sussex offered you?

A: At the moment Sussex have offered me a place in the Academy, which would mean I would mix in a bit with the professionals and do a lot of work to groom and learn my game, which in the long run would help me to grow as a player.

Q: Have you been training with the first team at all and if so what has the experience been like?

A: Yes, I was down at Hove, the County Ground, training with the first team while they prepared for their season ahead. I did quite a lot of bowling to the professionals, which is something I really enjoyed. It was a good experience to bowl to players of that calibre, and by training and just being around these kinds of players is healthy for someone of my age. To see how professional they are is a great experience.

Q: How often do you train at Bede's and how has that prepared you for this opportunity?

A: At Bede's the cricket environment is excellent. During this period, because we are into the season, I'm training three times a week with the team. Also we play a lot of matches during the weekdays and sometimes two matches a weekend. So it's quite a lot of cricket, which is very exciting.

Q: Is there anything else you want to say about this wonderful opportunity?

A: First, I would like to thank God for making this day possible. Second, the most important people I would like to thank are my parents, my sister, grandparents and the rest of my immediate family, who have pushed me to become what I want to be, that being a professional cricketer. I would like to thank all my past coaches and some of the people at the Bermuda Cricket Board for helping me to progress through the ranks, and to develop into the cricketer I am today. I would also like to thank you, Clay Smith, and your wife for taking me in a few years back in the UK and allowing me to pursue the professional career I wanted. I would like to thank Mr Wells here at Bede's and Mr Lenham who played a big role as well in setting up this trial and the other coaches involved in the cricket set-up here. Lastly I would like to thank Sussex for giving me this opportunity.

I would also like to thank the Bermuda Cricket Board for the role they played in firstly getting me to Bede's. Also, I would like to thank them for all they've done to help my progress through the age group and now in the senior team.

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Published April 24, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 23, 2015 at 11:09 pm)

Delray has the perfect temperament to be successful

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