Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been hugely impressive in the last two years with a number of excellent bowling efforts on the Test stage. Ahead of the Sandals Tour of England 2020, the 32-year-old has so far played 45 Test matches with 133 wickets – putting him 15th on the West Indies all-time list. He is third among bowlers from Trinidad & Tobago – following fast bowler Ian Bishop (161) and spinner Sonny Ramadhin (158). Gabriel’s overall first-class numbers are also good as he approaches the milestone of 300 wickets – he now has with 289 wickets in 103 appearances.
Gabriel made his Test debut against England at Lord’s on May 17, 2012. Tall, powerfully-built and imposing, he has worked hard and has maintained his fitness. His finest hour came at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia two years ago against Sri Lanka. He took five wickets in the first innings and followed up with career-best 8-62 in the second innings to end with 13-121 and earned the Man-of-the-Match award.
It was the best bowling figures at the ground, the best by a West Indian on home soil and the third best match haul by a West Indian in history – behind Michael Holding’s 14-149 against England at the Oval in 1976 and Courtney Walsh’s 13-55 against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in 1995.
His pace and skill have brought him considerable returns in recent times. Gabriel has taken five wickets in an innings on five occasions, but his most memorable moment as a Windies bowler came on the sole occasion where he has taken 10 wickets in a match. That Test was against Sri Lanka in St. Lucia in June of 2018, where a remarkable performance from Gabriel saw him claim 8-62. Forming just half of an excellent performance which saw Gabriel take 13 wickets in the match, the Trinidadian seamer’s haul was statistically exceptional - only one West Indian since 1990 has recorded better figures in an innings.