Living the cricket dream

West Indies U19 fast bowler Jayden Seales. -
West Indies U19 fast bowler Jayden Seales. -

JAYDEN Seales from one end, his cousin Jarlarnie Seales from the other end for the TT Red Force. This has been the dream of the young fast bowling pair since they played in their backyard in Basta Hall, Couva.

Jarlarnie, who is older than Jayden by three years, came through the ranks of TT youth cricket and is knocking on the door for a national senior pick.

Jayden, 18, showed he has the potential to make it to the senior level as he made some noise at the recently concluded 2020 International Cricket Council Under-19 50-over Cricket World Cup in South Africa.

Jayden was one of the most feared pacers in the tournament as he bowled with consistent line and length making scoring difficult for opposing batsmen that helped West Indies to a respectable fifth-place finish. Jayden was the second most successful West Indian bowler ending the tournament with ten wickets in six matches, finishing behind spinner Ashmead Nedd, who snatched 11 wickets in six matches. Jayden, an Upper Six student at Presentation College, Chaguanas was 12th overall in the bowling charts and his tally of wickets included two four-wicket hauls.

He grabbed 4/49 against Australia and 4/19 versus Nigeria and ended the tournament with an impressive economy rate of 3.89. Seales was rewarded for his effort as he was selected for the team of the tournament along with fellow West Indian Nyeem Young of Barbados, who had a strong all-round performance.

Speaking with Newsday about his performance, at the World Cup, Jayden said, “For me personally, it was a good performance. Coming off the tri-series (against Sri Lanka and England) I did not have the best performance. I wanted to do better for the team so I trained very hard when I came back home and in the World Cup itself (in) the training sessions I worked hard.”

The fast bowler felt West Indies performed admirably and says the players must learn from the World Cup. “It was a good performance by the team. I know we could have done better especially against New Zealand (in the quarter-finals), but all that is in the game so it is just about us learning from it and going on to being better cricketers in the end.”

Jayden, who was not expecting to be named on the team of the tournament, said having his father Larry with him in South Africa gave him an extra push to succeed. He said being there with his father was a dream come true. “It was good, because having people from the Caribbean there with you just reassuring you that you doing well and (saying) congratulations on this performance. It was good knowing that the parents were there for us, especially me personally for my father to be there because before all the tournaments we always talk about what I would try to do, what I will want to accomplish and seeing it happening on the big stage was a good feeling for both him and myself.”

Jarlarnie has also been an inspirational figure for Jayden as the cousins always had lofty goals.

“Ever since Jarlarnie and I were younger we always used to play cricket in the backyard and we both spoke about playing for TT together opening the bowling – Seales from one end and Seales from the other end.”

The cousins have shared skills and ideas over the years which helped Jayden. “Talking to him from since Under-15 days when he played for TT (was helpful). Just hearing what he had to say and the experiences that he had it really gave me a clear path on what I should do when my turn came and it paid off in the end.”

Discussing his future, the Queen’s Park Cricket Club cricketer, said he wants to play the longest format of the game at the highest level.

“I always told my father I want to play Test cricket, I want to open bowling in Test cricket. For me right now it is about staying fit, training harder, getting myself ready to play four-day cricket and hopefully get into West Indies A team or the senior team soon enough to play for the senior team in Test cricket.”

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