Jeremy Solozano

SHAKEN: Jeremy Solozano.

West Indies newcomer Jeremy Solozano had to spend the night in hospital for observation but is doing fine after he was struck on the helmet while fielding close to the bat during the first Test against Sri Lanka, yesterday.

According to Jeremy’s father, Michael, the Trinidad and Tobago player is okay and is expected to be released from hospital today but it is still uncertain if he will take any further part in his debut Test.

Michael told the Express that while it was proud day for Jeremy and his family when the left-hander finally got his Test cap it took a turn just before lunch on the first day of the match at the Galle International Stadium, when he 26-year-old was taken off the field on a stretcher and immediately whisked away in an ambulance to a hospital more than an hour away in the Sri Lanka capital, Colombo, for medical scans.

“Jeremy Solozano’s scans show no structural damage,” Cricket West Indies stated on Twitter later in the day. “He will be kept at the hospital overnight for observation. We will continue to keep you posted on any further updates from our medical team.”

Solozano was struck on the front of the helmet near the forehead after Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne pulled a short delivery from part-time off-spinner Roston Chase in the 24th over. He removed the helmet and spent several minutes lying on the ground but appeared conscious as he got medical treatment on the field, while surrounded by worried players from both sides.

Karunaratne was undefeated on 132 at the close and Sri Lanka reached 267 for three in the first innings, after they decided to bat.

Speaking to the Express yesterday, Michael said he had a brief conversation with his son yesterday and also spoke to the doctor at the hospital who reassured him that Jeremy would be okay.

“At the time we spoke, Jerry told me not to worry because he is okay and that they were going to do some scans,” Michael revealed. “I spoke to the doctor at the hospital and he told me Jeremy is doing fine and will be released tomorrow (today) and they were just looking to keep him for a 24 hour period for observation,” he added.

Initially, Michael said when he saw the incident live on TV early yesterday morning “it was really nerve-racking”.

The match started at 12.30 a.m. (T&T time) yesterday and up to when he spoke with the Express yesterday at 4 p.m., Michael said: “I have not slept yet. When I saw it live, it looked terrible. That was a donkey drop (long hop) from the bowler. I am a little more at ease now since I spoke to the doctor. He gave me that comfort, so I trust in the doctor that he will be okay,” said Michael.

He also noted that Jeremy was in good spirits and seems to be optimistic about returning to the field in the match. “Depending on what advice the doctors give; we don’t know if he will return to the game. But he is optimistic. He actually told the management that he is batting in this Test. What I would want to tell Jerry is to keep his head up and thank God it was not worse than what it is and that he still has opportunities to come,” he added.

Michael is also confident that his son will bounce back saying: “He might look small but he has a big heart. He never backs down from a challenge and I know he will come back stronger.”

Asked about seeing his son finally make his debut, Michael said: “There was two things I was waiting for; to see him get the cap first and then to see him face his first ball.”

“Getting that Test cap was really a dream come true for Jerry. Since before he was a teenager, he always said he wanted to play Test cricket so it is dream come true for him, and for the family on a whole,” Michael added.

When he took the field yesterday, Solozono became the 327th player to play in Tests for the Windies.

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