Shannon Gabriel 'hungry' to return to field after recovering from ankle injury

Manchester [UK], June 20 (ANI): West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel is excited to return to the field after recovering from an ankle injury against England in the three-match Test series.

A veteran of 45 Tests since his debut at Lords in 2012, Gabriel is among the reserves for this tour but is confident that he can regain full fitness. He has been outstanding in the last three years and is presently in the top 20 of the ICC ranking in the longest format of the game.

"After being away from the game so long, almost six or seven months, you are kind of hungry to get back on the field. I am looking forward to the warm-up games and we will take it from there. I have played a few Test matches before, so I know how to prepare," Gabriel told media via video conference.

His career-best match figures of 13 for 121 -- third-best in West Indies history -- came against Sri Lanka in Saint Lucia two years ago.

West Indies will have two inter-squad warm-up matches in Manchester before they travel to Southampton. All 25 players on tour will participate.

"It is a good experience. There are a lot of young fast bowlers coming through which is exciting for West Indies cricket. So rather than just get myself prepared, I am trying to lend any knowledge and experience onto them that they can take into their game. The ankle is good at the moment, no pain, no aches," Gabriel said.

"I am about 85-90 percent fit, but in terms of bowling fitness and match readiness, I still have some more work to do to hit my rhythm, but there are still three weeks and two warm-up games before the first Test match," he added.

The 32-year-old played a major part in the Caribbean side's 2-1 home victory over England to capture the Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade.

"The last time I played (for West Indies) was the India series (last September) in Jamaica. I want to play I want to be ready to play against England. I am fully motivated. If you are playing for your country and you are not motivated, you really should be on the field. This is not about half-hearted. You have to be all in," the pacer said.

The three-day match will be played from June 23-25 followed by a four-day match from June 29 to July 2.

The West Indies squad is staying, training and playing in a "bio-secure" environment during the seven weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety.

International cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the action is set to resume in July as England and West Indies will take on each other in the three-match Test series.

The first Test of the series will be played from July 8. (ANI)