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T&TCB salutes pacer Gabriel
The T&T Cricket Board has heaped praises on fast bowler Shannon Gabriel for his exceptional performance playing for the West Indies in the Second Test match against Sri Lanka which ended on Monday in St Lucia.
The 30-year-old, a product of Mayaro in the South East Zone of the TTCB, grabbed figures of 13 wickets for 121 runs, the third best match haul ever by a regional Test player as the contest ended in a draw after five intriguing days of cricket.
The West Indies lead the three-match rubber 1-0 going into the Third Test which starts on Saturday (June 23) at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Azim Bassarath, president of the TTCB said yesterday that congratulations are in place for Gabriel as he has made his nation and the entire Caribbean proud with his penetrative bowling.
Bassarath said that Gabriel is reaping the rewards of all his hard work in practice and training leading up to the current Test series, and he should be an inspiration to others who wish to rise to the top of their craft.
“I have had the opportunity to see Shannon making an extra effort to get his fitness up to peak level almost every day at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva with his personal trainer so I am not at all surprised that he is at the top of his game at the moment,” said an elated Bassarath.
The top local cricket administrator, a former chairman of the South East Zonal Council, also said Gabriel should be complimented on the huge jump he took in reaching a career-best 12th position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings.
Gabriel gained 11 places after his incredulous match haul at the Darren Sammy Stadium and has achieved 754 rating points on the world rankings. His previous best was 636 points which earned him an18th place in August last year.
Bassarath said that he expected Gabriel to continue his domination of the Sri Lankan batsmen in the Third Test and will be a key player if the regional side is to maintain their unblemished record of not having lost a series to the Sri Lankans at home.
In the First Test last week at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, which the West Indies won handsomely by 226 runs, Gabriel bowled with fire and venom, finishing with four wickets, and now is the highest wicket-taker in the series with 15 scalps after two matches.
“We are extremely proud of Shannon as he has displayed all the great qualities you expect of a professional cricketer, remaining focused and committed to doing his best with the necessary preparation and extra effort,” said Bassarath.
The TTCB president said that in Barbados, on what is expected to be a lively pitch at Kensington Oval, Gabriel will once again prove a handful for the visitors who he said are obviously shell-shocked with the pace and accuracy of the Trinidadian.
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