Shannon Gabriel could play his first Test in over a year after being recalled for West Indies’ Test squad to tour Zimbabwe later this month.
Spinners Jomel Warrican and Gudakesh Motie will also come back into contention after being included in the 15-man party.
Gabriel, 34, last featured in the Test side in Sri Lanka in November 2021. He was subsequently sidelined by a hamstring injury, and spent much of last year working to regain fitness; he had a spell in county cricket with Yorkshire and finished joint-leading wicket-taker in the Super50 Cup but was overlooked for West Indies’ Test tour of Australia.
However, with Jayden Seales rehabilitating after knee surgery, Gabriel could be reunited with Kemar Roach and Jason Holder in the West Indies seam attack.
Warrican also played the last of his 13 Tests in Sri Lanka in 2021, while Motie could add to the sole cap he won against Bangladesh in June last year. West Indies were hit by numerous injuries during their 2-0 defeat in Australia, and have omitted Shamarh Brooks, Anderson Phillip and Marquino Mindley, all of whom played in the second Test in Adelaide.
“This is the start of the international calendar for 2023 and we will hope to start with a win,” Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ lead selector, said.
“We appreciate it won’t be an 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.”
The two-Test series against Zimbabwe, which begins in Bulawayo on February 4, will be overseen by interim coach Andre Coley, following Phil Simmons’ decision to step down.
Meanwhile, Clive Madande hit a four off the final ball to give Zimbabwe a dramatic three-wicket win on the DLS method in a thrilling opening one-day international against Ireland at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
Chasing down the visitors’ 288-4, the hosts went into the final over needing 13 runs to win before Madande’s victory-clinching boundary.
Rain delayed the match with 18 overs of Zimbabwe’s innings remaining.
Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie hit 121 runs before retiring injured.
Wednesday’s encounter was the first match of a three-game ODI series in Zimbabwe, with the sides meeting again on Saturday. Zimbabwe won a T20 series between the teams 2-1 last week.
West Indies Test squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas, Jomel Warrican — espncricinfo/zimsportlive.co.zw