West Indies captain Jason Holder praised the “massive, massive heart” of Shannon Gabriel following the tourists' four-wicket win in the first Test against England at Southampton on Sunday.
Fast bowler Gabriel was named man-of-the-match after taking combined figures of nine wickets for 137 runs as international cricket returned from lockdown.The 32-year-old Trinidad quick was originally only named as a travelling reserve as he recovered from ankle surgery.
But he proved his fitness in two intra-squad warm-up matches and then showed his class as West Indies went 1-0 up in this three-match series.
Gabriel now boasts a fine career record of 142 wickets in 46 Tests at an average of under 30, with Holder telling reporters after stumps: “What Shannon has done in this game is nothing surprising.
“Shannon is just one of those guys who keep doing it. He has a massive, massive heart and he's been through a lot. “He wants success so badly. His body hasn't held up the way he would like but to see him back out there fit and well and bowling fast for the West Indies is always a pleasing sight.
“He deserves every bit of success he's had in this game. I'm really, really happy for Shannon, I know what he's been through.
“We kept in contact while he was doing rehab. At some stages he was very frustrated by how things were going but he stuck it through,” added all-rounder Holder, who himself took a Test-best 6-42 in England's lowly first innings 204.