Injured Windies pacer Gabriel on the mend

Cricket

Injured Windies pacer Gabriel on the mend

...Eyes return for England Tests in June

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel is on the comeback trail following surgery on a troublesome right ankle, and eyeing a return to the regional side in time for the three-match Test series against England in June.

Gabriel spoke with TV6 News and the Express at National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva, on Tuesday, as he caught up with fellow speedster Ravi Rampaul, who was training with the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force squad ahead of their opening match in the Regional Four-Day Championship against the Jamaica Scorpions.

Gabriel was also seen around the Red Force set-up during their final three-day trial match recently.

In November last year, Gabriel was pictured on the Cricket West Indies twitter page on a hospital bed, with a caption that read, “A successful surgery! On behalf of Cricket West Indies, I want to wish you a healthy & full recovery Shannon Gabriel”.

The 31-year-old fast bowler gave an update on his recovery, saying: “It has been coming along well. I have started to do therapy and light gym work, so it [a return to competitive cricket] is still far off, but I will be working towards getting there soon.”

Although it has been tough for Gabriel being on the sidelines, he said the Test team's win against Afghanistan was pleasing to see.

“The best thing is that they won and that is more com­forting than anything else. Obviously, I want to be out there, but the important thing is that they won and I am very happy for them,” he said.

Even with steady progress, Gabriel insisted he would not rush anything, and he wanted to go through the process and make sure he is fully fit before making any pronouncements on a possible date for his return to action.

Speaking frankly, Gabriel said: “I don't have a target in terms of when I will return to action. I don't have a time frame for returning to action. I am just taking it one day at a time and one step at a time.

“I don't want to rush into anything. I am not trying to rush myself back into competitive cricket but hopefully, I can be ready to represent Trinidad and Tobago before the end of the four-day season,” he added.

About his rehab work, Gabriel said it is still early days, but he noted he isn't getting any pain, which he insisted was a good sign.

“I have recently started doing therapy. This is my second week of therapy so things have been going well so far. I don't have any pain or anything like that so that is a good sign,” the fast bowler added.

After 45 Tests, Gabriel has 133 wickets, and his raw pace and aggression provi­ded good entertainment as the Win­dies defeated England in the Caribbean last year.

“I think it (2019) was a decent year. It was a bit up and down but, hopefully, 2020 can bring much better and greater rewards,” he said.

Remembering the home series against England last year, which the Windies won 2-1, Gabriel said: “Obviously, I want 2020 to be better than 2019 and, thankfully, the next Test series is against England in June. Hopefully, I will be fit and can be selected for that.”

— Trinidad Express


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