The Cricket West Indies (CWI) men’s selection panel on Tuesday recalled experienced fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, as well as left-arm spinners Gudakesh Motie and Jomel Warrican in the 15-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test Series in Zimbabwe, starting on February 4.
Gabriel has taken 161 wickets in 56 Tests, placing him joint 12th in the West Indies all-time wicket-takers list and more recently was the joint-leading wicket-taker in the CG United Super50 Cup for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in November last year. Gabriel’s last Test Match was against Sri Lanka in November 2021, the CWI informed in a release on Tuesday.
Warrican’s last international appearance was also in Sri Lanka in December 2021 when he played in both matches in the Test Series. Motie made his Test debut for West Indies in Antigua in June 2022 in the first Test of the two-match Series victory against Bangladesh.
Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection following a knee injury and subsequent surgery; while Anderson Phillip is also unavailable due to injury.
Chief selector Dr Desmond Haynes said: “This is the start of the international calendar for 2023 and we will hope to start with a win. We appreciate it won’t be as easy assignment as Zimbabwe, like most other teams in world cricket, play very well on their home soil on pitches that will support their style of play.”
“We looked at the conditions we anticipate playing in, and have included two left-arm spinners who didn’t go to Australia in Motie and Warrican. With our fast bowlers, Seales has done extremely well for us since he started back in 2021, but with him unavailable we have decided that Gabriel would be best able to fill that role. He (Gabriel) is an experienced bowler who has been at the international level for over 10 years and has knowledge of the conditions in Zimbabwe when we won there in 2017,” Haynes was quoted as saying in the release.
West Indies will play both Test matches at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, with the first Test running from February 4 to 8, and the second match from February 12 to 16. Ahead of the two-Test Series, West Indies will have a three-day warm-up match against a local side set for January 28 to 30 at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
The last Test Series between Zimbabwe and the West Indies was also played at Queens Sports Club in October 2017. West Indies won the two-match Series 1-0, winning the first match by 117 runs with the second Test ending in a draw.
West Indies squad:
Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Tagnarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas, Jomel Warrican.