Shannon Gabriel sees golden opportunity in T20

Bridgetown, Barbados – Pace bowler Shannon Gabriel is ready to showcase his bowling skills for the Sagicor High Performance Centre against his native Trinidad and Tobago when the two teams meet in a Twenty20 match on Saturday. The match will be played at 2 pm (1 pm Jamaica Time) at Queen's Park Oval and will follow the Digicel Pearls T20 International between West Indies and India at 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time). Gabriel, the powerfully-built 23-year-old caught the eye when he bowled with great pace and accuracy for the West Indies A Team against Zimbabwe in Grenada last year. He was rewarded with a place in the Trinidad and Tobago side in the WICB 4 Day Tournament earlier this year and again impressed. Now, he is back at the Sagicor HPC for the second three-month stint, and wants to continue to improve and even secure a spot in the Trinidad and Tobago team for the Airtel Champions League later this year. "Now that I'm back, I am looking to pick up from where I left off last year. I have worked hard for the last year, harder than I have ever worked as a cricketer and I got some rewards,” Gabriel explained. “I did some good things last year and I really enjoyed working with the other players and the coaches. I have a lot in me and I want to give myself the opportunity to improve and get better. I would like to do well in the match coming up and look to impress the selectors. The ball is in my court to do well and take it from there,” Gabriel said. “My overall ambition is to represent the West Indies with distinction at the international level and I’m working towards that. Being here at the Sagicor HPC is very good for me at this stage. I’m looking to gain as much knowledge as I can in the next few months,” Gabriel revealed. “I am working on being fitter mentally and physically and I’m working on the technical skills. I would like to get up on my pace and also get better control. The Bowling Coach Roddy Estwick is also working with me on ‘building blocks and building pressure’ and working out the opposing batsmen.” Gabriel made his First Class debut in 2010 and in his brief career he has played 14 First Class matches and secured 33 wickets at an average of 33.69 each. Reflecting on the WICB 4 Day season he said: “It was my first full season with Trinidad in First Class cricket and it served me really well. It was a bit tough on the body but it taught me some vital lessons on what it requires to be a fast bowler – day in and day out. I worked hard and I benefited immensely from the opportunities. I was satisfied with my overall effort but I know within myself that I could have bowled a bit better. My one problem was that I got wickets with no balls, and I have to iron that out.”
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