Rawlins accepts possibility of a lost season
Professional cricketer Delray Rawlins said he feared a “lost summer” after the English season was further delayed until at least August 1 because of Covid-19.
Rawlins added he had hoped to solidify himself in all three formats for Sussex this season — first-class, one-day and Twenty20 — before the coronavirus intervened.
The 22-year-old’s opportunities in red-ball cricket have been reduced already, with ten rounds of the Specsavers County Championship already missed because of the pandemic.
It is likely the money-spinning Vitality Blast will become the top priority for the England and Wales Cricket Board and once again provide the stage for Rawlins to shine brightest.
Rawlins, largely noted for his destructive batting in the fast-paced format, said: “I was feeling pretty confident this year; it was a pretty important season for me.
“We’re all just waiting to see what happens. Hopefully, county cricket will happen soon, but I don’t really see too much happening this year. I hope I’m wrong.”
He added: “It would be lovely if there was some cricket, but we have to be mindful of the UK Government guidelines and what’s safe regarding the coronavirus.
“You always have to be optimistic and make sure that if and when the time comes, you’re ready.”
Not only was Rawlins confident of a lucrative summer with the bat, he was scheduled to pocket £50,000 (about $65,000) from playing in The Hundred — a new 100-ball competition, which has been postponed until next year — after he was drafted by Southern Brave.
He has also lost 20 per cent of his income from Sussex after he was put on furlough, along with his team-mates and coaching staff.
Sussex were among 16 of the 18 counties — Lancashire and Surrey being the exemptions — to take advantage of the government furlough scheme.
Rawlins, who spent two weeks in quarantine at the Fairmont Southampton after he returned to Bermuda, said: “The Hundred money would have been nice, but there’s always next year.
“Hopefully, the excitement surrounding it will bigger and better than it would have been this year because of the absence of cricket so far this season.”
A total of 134 English county players will be out of contract at the end of the season and face an uncertain future.
Rawlins said: “There are a lot of players around the counties in a sticky situation right now regarding money.
“I think for the most part the counties and the players will work things out and come to some sort of agreement.
“Most players will be reasonable with the renegotiations of their contracts. But some players may not be lucky enough to get another deal.”
Rawlins said he had not ruled out playing locally for former club side Bailey’s Bay when the domestic season starts — expected to be on the first weekend in July — although he would need permission from Sussex.
Cup Match and the Eastern Counties, the island’s big two midsummer cricket spectacles, have already fallen victim to the coronavirus.
The Bermuda all-rounder said: “If the opportunity came up, I wouldn’t say no to dusting off some cobwebs off to help me prepare for the county season. I’d have to speak to Sussex first to see how they feel about it.”
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