By Ryan Newman
With a one-year contract extension with Sussex already in the bag, Delray Rawlins has returned from a successful winter tour of India with the England under 19’s with the aim of breaking into the first team.
The 19-year-old all-rounder was speaking at Sussex’ press and media day ahead of the upcoming season in which he intends to carry his winter form in order to play as bigger role as possible.
He said: “I was really happy to sign the extension, especially so early on at the start of my professional career so to say.
“I am hoping that I can get a few games under my belt this year and hopefully play more than maybe some people expect and also contribute and do well for the team and have some success as a team and move forward together.”
“I had a very enjoyable winter. Experiencing things over in India. I have just looked to come back and sort of put the same things into practice that I did out there really.
“Keep my game really simple and hopefully with a bit of luck it will come off. I learnt a lot out in India, about myself, about the game, about the way I play, the way I learn.
“It was a very good tour for me in terms of that and very enjoyable. I had some good coaches around me, some great experience to learn from so it was really enjoyable.”
Rawlins feels his first immediate chances will come in the longer formats of the game. He hopes to impress in those when given the opportunity in order to give himself a shot in the T20 games.
“The championship and the 50 over stuff I will probably be closer to playing in just on the back of the preseason tour of India and how preseason has gone. We’ll see how it goes with the T20 format when it comes up.
“But I feel like I can play all three so I just want to get stuck in to all three of them really.”
The young starlet is confident that being an all-rounder gives him an edge over the other younger members of the squad as he has more to offer the side.
“It is definitely easier to get into teams at an earlier stage of your career as an all-rounder just based on the fact that you can do a bit of everything. You can get in the team as a batter if they’re a batter light or as a bowler if they’re a bowler light. I am just trying to work on both skills as much as I can and hopefully it will go well this summer.
“I just want to contribute to the team in any way I can be it ball or bat and hopefully do well.
“I haven’t set out any specific targets in terms of numbers of runs or wickets. My main goal is just to spend as much time as possible on the pitch in all three formats and play as many games as I can for Sussex.”
Rawlins will have his first chance to be selected when Sussex play host to Kent on April 14 in the County Championship.