Gabriel, 34, last featured in the Test side in Sri Lanka in November 2021. He was subsequently sidelined by a hamstring injury, and spent much of last year working to regain fitness; he had a spell in county cricket with Yorkshire and finished joint-leading wicket-taker in the Super50 Cup but was overlooked for West Indies’ Test tour of Australia.
Warrican also played the last of his 13 Tests in Sri Lanka in 2021, while Motie could add to the sole cap he won against Bangladesh in June last year. West Indies were hit by numerous injuries during their 2-0 defeat in Australia, and have omitted Shannon Brooks, Anderson Phillip and Marquino Mindley, all of whom played in the second Test in Adelaide.
“This is the start of the international calendar for 2023 and we will hope to start with a win,” Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ lead selector, said. “We appreciate it won’t be an easy assignment as Zimbabwe, like most other teams in world cricket, play very well on their home soil on pitches that will support their style of play.
“We looked at the conditions we anticipate playing in, and have included two left-arm spinners who didn’t go to Australia in Motie and Warrican. With our fast bowlers, Seales has done extremely well for us since he started back in 2021, but with him unavailable we have decided that Gabriel would be best able to fill that role. He [Gabriel] is an experienced bowler who has been at the international level for over 10 years and has knowledge of the conditions in Zimbabwe when we won there in 2017.”
West Indies Test squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Tagnarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas, Jomel Warrican