First Sussex contract a dream come true for Eastbourne young gun

Ali Orr is the latest Sussex CCC player to come off Eastbourne CC’s conveyor belt of talent.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:32 pm
Ali Orr signed his first professional contract at Sussex on Tuesday. Picture courtesy of Sussex Cricket

The 20-year-old signed his first professional contract at the 1st Central County Ground on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of illustrious Eastbourne alumni such as Sussex skipper Ben Brown and Bermuda international Delray Rawlins.

The batsman, who can also keep wicket, is a product of Sussex’s player pathway and has represented the county since the age of ten.

A former pupil of Bede’s School, Orr has already played 15 times for the second XI since his debut in 2018, top-scoring with 85 not out against Yorkshire in a three-day match at the end of the 2019 season.

Orr said: “I am so excited to sign my first contract with Sussex as it has always been an ambition of mine since joining the age group squads when I was ten.

“It means so much to know that the coaches as well as the directors have belief in my game to try and take it to the next level.

“Sussex means so much to me as I’ve been not only been playing for them but also supporting them for so long, so to finally have an opportunity to be a professional cricketer really is a dream come true.”

A post on Eastbourne CC’s official Facebook page said: “Another cab off the rank as Ali Orr signs his first pro contract at Sussex.

“Congratulations young man, well deserved! We look forward to seeing you score a mountain of runs!”

Orr made his first team debut for Eastbourne in July 2016 - at the tender age of 15 - in a Sussex Cricket League Division 2 fixture at Pagham.

The precocious young talent hit 28 not out off just 20 balls as the East Sussex-outfit ran out winners by 32-runs.

Orr has since become a mainstay at The Saffrons. The 20-year-old averaged 35.88 with the bat, with a top-score of 85 not out, in 11 games last season as he helped steer Eastbourne to victory in Sussex Cricket League’s supplementary August Cup competition.

The 2019 campaign saw Orr average 26.79, with a top-score of 116, in 16 games as Eastbourne lifted the Sussex T20 Sunday Cup and took seventh in the Premier Division.