“I want to be on the park for as long as possible” – Jayden Seales After grabbed three for 26 against the West Indies Academy

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force fast bowler Jayden Seales is happy to be back with enduring rough spells on the sideline with injury.

Seales, 22, grabbed figures of three for 26 from nine overs on day one of the Red Force’s four-day match in the West Indies Championship against the West Indies Academy at the Conaree Sports Club, St Kitts on Wednesday.

The West Indies Academy were bowled out for just 163 on day one, with Seales and fellow pacer Anderson Phillip leading the TT attack with three wickets apiece.

During a sideline interview on the first day’s play, Seales said he was just focused on maintaining his fitness as he targets his return to the Windies setup.

“It felt really good being able to play First Class cricket again and getting to perform for the team as well,” Seales said.

“Getting wickets early up as a fast bowler is the most important thing with the new ball, so that was obviously a plus, but just being able to stay on the park and make sure my body feels good is the main thing for me.”

Seales got the wickets of Kadeem Alleyne, Joshua James and West Indies Academy captain Nyeem Young, who was clean-bowled by a peach of a yorker.

In December 2022, Seales suffered a knee injury which left him on the sidelines for several months as he underwent successful surgery. A year later, as he gradually worked his way back to full fitness, Seales picked up a shoulder injury during the West Indies “A” team’s third and final tour match against a South Africa “A” team in Bloemfontein in December 2023. The injury effectively ruled the right-arm quick out of the Caribbean team’s tour to Australia.

Seales recalled the mental battles he endured with his injuries.

“Early on in the knee injury, it was very frustrating. I did not even realise I was depressed,” Seales said. “Obviously, my family saw it. Being able to be back playing cricket is the most joyful thing for me right now.

“I think I understand my body a little bit more in terms of the stretches I need to do and the recovery I need to do to ensure I can play four days continuously.”

In November 2023, Seales signed with Sussex for the 2024 English County Championship season. Seales had also signed for Sussex in the preceding season, but the knee injury stopped him in his tracks.

“(I just want) to stay on the park for as long as possible and obviously get wickets for TT, Sussex or West Indies once (I get) back in the team,” Seales said.

“It is just about being able to play and perform to the best of my ability to the teams I play for.”

Seales last featured for the West Indies in a three-match One-day international (ODI) series against India in August 2023.

Seales has ten Test matches to his name but has not played in the Test arena since being affected by injury in the Windies’ 2-0 series loss to Australia in December 2022.

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