Bermuda star backs Sussex for Vitality Blast Finals Day return

Delray Rawlins says Sussex have the quality to challenge for the T20 Blast title as the county look to reach finals day for the first time since 2018.

Delray Rawlins helps to strike Sussex to T20 Finals Day / Picture: Getty
Delray Rawlins helps to strike Sussex to T20 Finals Day / Picture: Getty

In each of the past two years, Sussex have narrowly missed out on finals day thanks to marginal quarter-final defeats.

They’ve been close, but this year there’s a will to get past that hurdle at Hove.

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“Last year we got to another quarter-final but didn’t quite make it,” the all-rounder said. “The talent in the squad is there, we’ve just got to go one step further”.

For Sussex, T20 talent is in abundance. Luke Wright, Phil Salt and Ravi Bopara offer explosive batting and an impressive bowling unit features the likes of Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills and George Garton.

Add into the mix a host of overseas talent and the Bermudian international believes Sussex have the qualities to mount a serious challenge this year.

“We have two overseas in Rash [Rashid Khan] ,and [David] Weise and Trav [Travis Head] as well. We can’t obviously play three but we’ve got options.

With the local squad that’s really strong too, we’re in a good place with a reasonably young squad.

“But we’ve got some experience as well. A few players are playing franchise cricket and in the England setup which is exciting for us. Hopefully, when they come back - we can kick off what should be a good season for us.

“The experience as well as the youth will carry us a long way and hopefully we can lift a trophy at the end.”

For Sussex, a new season brings two new faces sharing head aoach duties. Ian Salisbury will oversee the 50-over and first-class teams while James Kirtley will be in charge of the T20 side.

They have already made an impact down as they look to get their players read for a county season that begins in a month’s time.

“It’s been good,” said Rawlins. “You can feel the passion the two coaches have for the club. The way training is going, the boys are enjoying it but at the same time improving.

“With a few weeks ’til the season starts we’re in a really good place considering we haven’t been able to train as much. We’re here now, and we don’t have to go back into that phase [lockdown].”

Sussex’s T20 blast campaign begins on June 11 in Bristol as they face Gloucestershire.

“We’ve been building towards it for a few years, said the 23-year-old. “It would be nice to win [the Blast]”.