Ex-WI pacer Gray says: Too much cricket for injured Seales – TT Newsday

FORMER West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray said the workload of West Indies pacer Jayden Seales must be properly managed and believes he should not be playing franchise T20 cricket at this stage of his career.
On Tuesday it was reported that Seales, 21, will be out for at least four months as he recovers from a left knee injury (meniscus). He recently completed surgery and will have to do rehab.
Seales, a former West Indies Under-19 player, has quickly become a weapon in the West Indies team, especially in Test cricket. He has snatched 37 wickets in ten Test matches.
“Jayden Seales has to be managed better,” Gray said. “He has been managed really well up until the Under-19 level, but it is harder as an international fast bowler because he is not yet fully developed physically.”
Seales has been playing all formats of the game over the past year including franchise T20 cricket in Sri Lanka and in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Gray does not want Seales to play franchise T20 cricket. “Jayden Seales needs to work on strengthening his body. He has to be managed in the right way. At this stage of his life, he should be playing four-day regional cricket, Test cricket and County cricket. I would like to see him not play franchise T20 cricket because it destroys his potency as a fast bowler because he tries so many different things.” If Seales can bowl 90 miles per hour consistently he will be an asset to West Indies, Gray said.
At the end of 2021, Seales took 15 wickets in seven matches for Jaffna Kings in the Lanka Premier League franchise tournament. He has also spent the last three years representing Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL. Seales started having issues with his knee in September during the CPL.
Gray said, “He might look big and strong, but remember he is 21 years old and the stressors are greater when you are playing international cricket.”
The cricket calendar is now tight with many cricketers playing for the majority of the year.
The former West Indies fast bowler thinks prior to a Test match West Indies should be playing more. “When you go on tour (there are) not enough practice games to play. Prior to touring more practice games should be played in the Caribbean because there are insufficient matches to get accustomed to the rigours of (Test match) fast bowling.”
Sufficient rest is also vital between matches. “There is not enough time for fast bowlers between Test matches to recuperate including young Seales.” A rotation system should be implemented so fast bowlers are not overworked.
Gray is qualified in coaching as he is a level three coach and a level three assessor. Level four is the highest level in cricket coaching. He believes coaches must manage all fast bowlers differently depending on age, what stage they are in their careers and their injury history.
“The coaches of fast bowlers need to have a log on different things. A history on their injuries, a history on their successes, a history on their failures, why this is happening and the reasons why this has occurred.”
The slow wickets in the Caribbean will lead to West Indies bowlers working “extra hard” to bowl fast to get wickets, said Gray.
Gray also gave his thoughts on the other West Indies fast bowlers including Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder.
He said Roach, 34, can’t rest too much but his workload must be monitored to extend his career as long as possible. “You don’t rest totally because if you rest totally then when you have to extend yourself in a Test match it’s going to be a huge problem. You are going to break down because the body is not well prepared.”
Joseph, 26, has been developing smoothly, said Gray. “He is stronger now after those injuries…he is much fitter and he can take the workload. His mechanics (when bowling) are much better now so he is not rocking all over the place. He is stable.”
Jason Holder, 31, is one of the few West Indians playing all formats in recent years and he has been rested by Cricket West Indies at times.
Gray did not agree with the decision to rest Holder in the last practice match against a Prime Minister’s XI before the opening Test match against Australia at the end of November.
“If you are a rhythm bowler you need work…what you need is active preparation and then active recuperation. Even when you play the warm-up games prior to the Test matches there has to be effort and intensity to simulate the type of effort that a fast bowler would put in in a Test match.
Gabriel, 34, has battled injuries over the last two years including hamstring problems. “I believe that some fast bowlers are genetically predisposed to injury and it does not matter how hard they work injuries will occur from time to time and Gabriel is one of these fast bowlers.”
Gray commended Gabriel for working “extremely hard” on his fitness.


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