Red Force coach Furlonge : Injured Seales out for at least four months

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

West Indies Jayden Seales . Photo courtesy CWI Media

WEST INDIES and TT Red Force fast bowler Jayden Seales has been ruled out of competitive cricket for approximately four months owing to an injury to his left knee.

This was confirmed by Red Force coach David Furlonge on Tuesday.

Seales, 21, has been battling knee pain since the West Indies’ first Test match loss against Australia in Adelaide, two weeks ago.

He took one wicket for 95 runs from 21 overs in the first innings and was held back from bowling until late in Australia’s second innings, where he bowled just three overs for 18 runs.

Seales was rested for the second Test, which the maroon also lost.

Furlonge said Seales recently did surgery on his left knee (meniscus) and will be unavailable for selection until around April 2023.

Speaking at the National Cricket Centre, Couva, coach Furlonge said, “Jayden is injured right now and is probably out of cricket for about four months. He has a knee injury and had surgery. In four months, he should be able to come back and play. He has started rehab already.”

Seales’ setback rules him out of the Red Force attack for Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Regional Four-Day Championship in February and the West Indies’ tour of South Africa in March, where they play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals.

Furlonge said Seales’ absence from the national team for the upcoming four-day competition is a big blow but they have ramped up preparations with alternate fast bowlers.

The possibility also exists that fellow top TT pacers Anderson Phillip and Shannon Gabriel could be selected for the South Africa tour, which would also put a major dent in the Red Force’s pace attack in the four-day tourney.

Regarding this, Furlonge added, “When we look at our fast bowling stock, if Seales, Phillip and Gabriel are away on West Indies duty, we are left with a very inexperienced fast bowling line-up.

“So we are looking to see how best we can prepare fast bowlers. Plenty of the younger fast bowlers would have never played a three-day game, far less a four-day game. It will take a toll on them to be prepared on time.

“We’ve stepped up our work on our fast bowlers that we have available to get fit and bowl 15 overs in a day. We have to make sure we have the right reserves in place that we could put up a challenge. We’re making more demands of them and hopefully, they’re up for the challenge.”

Additionally, spinner Sunil Narine is also unavailable for four-day selection since he will be playing franchise cricket in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Furlonge said however, Narine has indicated that he will make himself available for the CG Insurance Super50 Cup when it comes around again.

“To have Sunil as one of the white ball players we look forward to having him whenever he is available.”

The three senior players expected to lead the four-day team, although not yet selected, are veterans Jason Mohammed, Imran Khan and Darren Bravo. Even TT wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva remains doubtful since he has found favour in West Indies Test team selection.

Despite the possibility of playing a weakened team this year, Furlonge remains confident in TT’s crop of young players.

“Da Silva is expected to be with the four-day team for the first two games and may be back for the final three games. But West Indies has a 50-over tour against South Africa when the last three games are to be played…

“But we have Amir Jangoo there, young Leonardo Julien…we have a young side but hopefully they do well. Once they prepare well, they will do well in the tournament.”

The crop of potential Red Force players seeking four-day selection has been training alongside the coach since November and will continue on until late January, for the February 1 start.