June 23, 2020 / 5:01 AM / 14 days ago

Gabriel going at full tilt, set to join Windies squad

Cricket - West Indies v England - Third Test - Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia - February 12, 2019 West Indies' Shannon Gabriel celebrates with Kraigg Brathwaite after taking the wicket of England's Joe Root Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/File Photo

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel is set to join the test squad having regained his pace and fitness, head coach Phil Simmons said ahead of next month’s three-match series against England next month.

The 32-year-old right-arm quick arrived in England as one of 11 reserve players, with doubts about his fitness following an ankle injury.

Simmons told British media on Monday Gabriel could join the touring party and that he was looking fit.

“The last week he’s been at full tilt and he looks fit,” added Simmons. “He’s bowling as fast as I’ve seen him for a while so he’s ready and close enough to the test match.”

West Indies will play two warm-up matches before the first test in Southampton from July 8 and Simmons will be keeping an eye on Gabriel’s progress before deciding whether to add him to the test pool.

“When leaving home 14 were named in the squad,” the coach said.

“Because of Shannon coming back from his injury, we had to let him get a little bit further and see how he is and then we’ll decide whether to make it a 15-member squad.

“After that, injuries might be the cause for changes.”

Manchester will host the last two tests of the series, which will be played behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford

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