Sussex and Bermuda star can't wait for The Hundred
Sussex all-rounder Delray Rawlins says he is thrilled to be part of The Hundred.
The Bermudan has praised the opportunities the competition can give cricketers on the domestic circuit.
Rawlins, a regular in the Sussex side, has signed for Southern Brave for the duration of the new 100-balls-a-side competition that starts its inaugural season in July.
The 23-year-old told us: “The first one is exciting. Not just for me, but for all the cricketers around and coaches.
“Everyone is looking forward to it because franchise tournaments are the big thing around the world at the moment. It’s another chance to put your name in the pool of players playing franchise cricket.
“You’ve got coaches from overseas as well as players. If you do well against other teams it will go a long way.”
Rawlins, who made his Sussex debut in 2017, will be joined by a quartet of Sussex teammates – Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, George Garton and Tymal Mills – as well as ex-Sussex spinner Danny Briggs in the Southern Brave squad.
For a squad playing together for the first time, Southern Brave have accumulated a good core of Sussex and Hampshire talent, with James Vince and Liam Dawson from the Ageas Bowl squad involved.
Does Rawlins see that as an advantage? “Yes - most definitely,” explained Rawlins. “Everyone knows each other well which makes the training and game situations a bit easier - you know how people work and how they perform.
“Adding the overseas player to that group of players will only benefit the squad.”
The overseas talent in the squad is clear to see. Australian duo David Warner and Marcus Stoinis join the most-destructive T20 cricketer on the circuit,
Andre Russell. Add this talent and shorter-form experience to a group of formidable domestic cricketers and it’s going to be an exciting watch at the Ageas Bowl.
“There’s some top international players in the side. It’s important for myself that I learn from players like Andre Russell and David Warner,” Rawlins stated. “It’s going to be good fun, but there is a lot of learning to be done as well.”
Eight newly formed teams based across the UK, also including Welsh Fire (Cardiff-based), Northern Superchargers (Leeds), London Spirit, Trent Rockets (Nottingham), Oval Invincibles (London), Manchester Originals and Birmingham Phoenix, will compete to become the competition’s first winners.
The fact it is the first year of The Hundred means tactics will be worked out as the competition unfolds.
New features such as five-ball and ten-ball overs will all need to be worked out by coaches, analysts and players such as Rawlins.
“I think the team that can adapt to the new format the best will come out on top,” the all-rounder added. “We have to be adaptable and take it as it comes. I don’t see it being too different from T20.
“We see the T10 in Abu Dhabi and I think everyone that has played that has adapted pretty well.”
Southern Brave start the competition against the Welsh Fire on July 27, with Rawlins believing his side coached by Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene can go all the way to the men’s finals a month later.