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WINTER WATCH: Delray Rawlins and Jon Lewis in Loughborough as Rawlins prepares for Dubai


Sussex's Assistant Head Coach Jon Lewis linked up with the County’s young allrounder Delray Rawlins in Loughborough this week – and the pair are hoping to take their partnership to India early next year.

Lewis has been appointed fast bowling coach for the Young Lions programme on England cricket’s International Pathway this winter.

And Rawlins, the 19-year-old from Bermuda who came to Sussex to pursue his dream of a career in cricket, is hoping to do enough in the next two months to earn selection for the England Under-19s team who will play four-day and one-day matches in India in the spring of 2017.

“I think he’s going to be a fine cricketer in time,” Lewis said of Rawlins during the first day of a training camp at the National Cricket Performance Centre.

“He’s still got lots to learn, but he’s a really good competitor, and a very natural cricketer – hopefully this will be a big part of his development and good for Sussex as well as England.”

Rawlins drew approving comments from Durham captain and former England stalwart Paul Collingwood, who has joined Lewis on the Young Lions coaching staff this winter, as he faced a range of spinners in the marquee which allows grass pitch practice throughout the winter at the NCPC.

He will also work with former Surrey and England batsman Graham Thorpe, and the former England offspinner Peter Such, among many other coaches during two camps in Loughborough followed by three weeks in Dubai in December.

“For all the lads here, this is a huge opportunity,” Lewis added. “There’s so much knowledge in the coaching staff, and across the board in every department. You turn up here at the NCPC and the facilities are excellent, and you’ve got access to coaches who can hook into you and how you want to develop your game. It’s an invaluable experience for these lads, with the chance to go to Dubai and then in India - they can only benefit from that.”

The same goes for Lewis as a coach, after two years on the Sussex staff, initially as bowling coach before he became assistant to head coach Mark Davis in 2016.

“In a funny sort of way you feel like you’re being selected to do it, which is really nice – even to the point where you put the shirt on and it reminds you of how you felt before,” said the 41-year-old, who played 16 times for England – 13 of them in one-day internationals, although his most memorable impact came with four wickets in the symbolic T20 victory over Australia which set the scene for the 2005 Ashes triumph.

“It’s nice to be asked to come and help out. I really enjoy my coaching and feel I’ve got a lot to add to any programme I’m involved in, and help these guys become better cricketers which is what we’re all here for.

“Within my role at Sussex I’m very involved with Kevin Shine [the ECB’s fast bowling lead coach] and have communicated with him all the time about the guys involved in his programmes – George Garton, Tymal Mills and of course Matt Hobden. All the time I suppose he’s learning about you as a coach and understanding what you’ve got to offer - and to put me forward to Andy Hurry to be part of the Young Lions programme here is a really good opportunity for me to develop as a coach, and help the team do well.

“I can’t go to Dubai because I’m already committed to a tour with the Sussex Academy. But I’ve got the opportunity to go to India in February and get involved in the competitive cricket which is something I’m really keen on, and hopefully my knowledge of the subcontinent and tactics and the way to get the ball in the right condition for the ball to move around will be of some use out there.”

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