Bermuda is behind me as I try to make my mark on Sussex cricket

Delray Rawlins is aiming for fireworks in the Vitality Blast
Delray Rawlins is aiming for fireworks in the Vitality Blast

It’s been nice to contribute with bat and ball in the last couple of Championship games, but I’d always rather the team was winning even if it meant me not doing well on a personal level.

I’ve had limited opportunities, so to get a half-century in the match against Durham was pleasing.

I was a bit gutted not to go on against Northants having made a start. That was a tough game for the team and I was keen to get us out of trouble, but it’s all good experience and something to learn from.

Taking a few wickets in both games was also nice. My bowling is a work in progress but something I see as a big part of my game.

Something that’s always brilliant is the support from back home. Social media is massive there and so when I’m doing well Twitter seems to go off with messages from people in Bermuda. When I got those runs against Durham my phone was going off. You really feel you have the support of the whole country behind you.

It’s a small island but a very proud country and people really get behind fellow Bermudans – I think when Nahki Wells joined Burnley the club Twitter got about 60,000 new followers.

Having that support makes all the hard work worth it, gets you through the hard times and makes the good times even better.

It was tough not being in the first team earlier in the season, but there are good players at the club and they fully justified the reasons they were picked first up. I’ve just been working hard at my game and trusting that results will come. I feel like over the past couple of weeks I’ve started to see the results of that work.

I’ve developed a bit of a reputation for performing when called up. I copped a bit of stick off the boys last year in the T20 for the same thing when I got labelled by some as a ‘big ground player’ or as someone that did well in TV games. But it’s not the worst reputation to have. So-called big games don’t faze me, a key for me is being brave and playing the game as I see it, whatever the occasion.

It can be tough in the seconds. Conditions and pitches might not be great and sometimes a 30 or a 40 might be worth 80 or 100 on a better wicket, but you’ve got to live with those sort of things and get out of it what you can so that you’re ready when first team opportunities do come around.

With the T20 starting soon, it’s not a bad time to come into the team, be around the boys and get back up to speed with the feel and pace of first team cricket again. Hopefully I’ll be part of the team for the first match at Hampshire and can help us get off to a good start as we look to go one better than last year and win the trophy.

You look around the world at the guys doing well in big tournaments and it is the three-point cricketers – people like Ben Stokes who can bat, bowl and field – that are popular picks.

Teams are looking for that and hopefully my bowling and my fielding on top of my batting makes me more pickable. With Briggsy possibly missing at the start of the Blast there might be more of an opportunity for me to bowl a bit but having said that with Beero and Rash we’re not short of high-quality spin options. No doubt about it though, if the captain asks me to send down a few I’ll be more than happy to.

I think the talent and experience we’ve got in the squad is second to none around the county and with Rashid and now Alex Carey joining us I think we’ve got the tools need to lift the trophy. Experiencing finals day last year will only push the lads to get back there and this time go all the way.