LONDON, CMC — Bermudian cricketer Delray Rawlins is heading to Australia shortly to play club cricket and develop his game after signing a new deal that will keep him at England’s Sussex County Cricket Club at least until the end of 2019.
The 20-year-old Bermuda all-rounder made his first-class debut in April for the county against Kent in a second division match but afterwards had to be content with appearing mostly for the county’s second XI.
It is the second time in six months that Rawlins — the first Bermudian to play first-class cricket — has been offered a new deal after having his initial one-year deal extended in March at least until the end of 2018.
“To get the security of having more time here is something that excites me,” Rawlins, a left-hander, said.
“I can get my head down and try to push to get in the first team.”Rawlins admitted playing first-class cricket at the age of 19 far exceeded his expectations.
“When I signed back in October 2016, my first contract, it would not have been on my radar to be in the frame so early,” Rawlins said.
“To get the opportunity was so nice to see where I was at as a player. Now I can go and work on my game and hopefully in the next year and the coming years I can push to be in the team more often.”
Rawlins’ first-class debut followed on the heels of a phenomenal England Under-19 debut in India, where he averaged 78.42 with the bat, hitting two centuries and two half-centuries, and claimed nine wickets with his slow left-arm spin.
He again underlined his potential this season with a knock of 96 for Sussex against the touring South Africa A team at Hove.
“That was a period where I was sort of in and around the first team and if a batter went down I was probably next one in,” he said. Rawlins helped Sussex win the Second XI Twenty20 championships, making 40 batting at number four and claiming two wickets in his team’s 22-run win over Hampshire in the final.
“It was very nice to actually win a trophy,” he said.
With the English domestic season drawing to a close, Rawlins has turned his attention to an upcoming five-month spell in Sydney, where he intends to continue his development. “I will be away in Australia for five months during the English winter playing club cricket over there. It’ll be my first time over there and so I’m really looking forward to it,” Rawlins said.
“That will be my opportunity to keep developing my bowling and obviously keep developing the batting side of things facing tough opposition out there and see where my game is at over that side of the world.”