Shannon Gabriel’s loss has turned out to be Miguel Cummins’ gain.
Barbados Pride’s opening fast-bowler may finally get the chance to play Test cricket for the West Indies, after being called up to replace the injured Gabriel on the regional team’s current tour of Australia.
Gabriel, the burly Trinidadian speedster is set to return home after suffering a stress-related injury to his left ankle on the opening day of the first Test at Hobart.
His departure has paved the way for the 25-year-old Cummins, who has played a solitary One-Day International for the Windies, to make his Test debut.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY after going through a practice session with the Pride at Kensington Oval this afternoon, Cummins confirmed he would be replacing Gabriel and that he was scheduled to leave the island either tomorrow or Thursday.
While admitting he was not completely surprised to be named as the replacement, he said he felt a sense of accomplishment and that all of the hard work he was putting in was finally paying off.
Cummins, who has also represented the West Indies ‘A’ team, has performed admirably in this year’s WICB Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day competition, snagging 16 wickets in five matches, at an average of 20.43.
For his career, he has taken 99 first-class wickets in 36 matches, at an average of 22.83.
“I’m glad that my hard work is paying off. I have been working very hard in the nets and at practice and it’s good to see it has been noticed,” Cummins said.
“So far for the season I’ve been bowling consistent and I have been getting results on a regular basis.”
The former Parkinson Memorial student has the one ODI appearance to his name, as he suited up for the regional outfit in 2014 against Ireland.
He finished with figures of one for 42 from his six overs.
However, Cummins maintained that it was always his dream to represent the West Indies in Test cricket.
“I feel really good because I’ve always wanted to play Test cricket for the West Indies, and this is my chance, so I intend to grab it with both hands.
“From what I’ve been hearing, the wickets down there seem to be suited to fast bowlers, so I’m really looking forward to bowling fast and taking some wickets if I’m given the opportunity,” he said.
However, the lanky fast-bowler knows it won’t be an easy task by any means.
The Australians are currently third in the ICC Test rankings on 109 points, while the Windies languish at the bottom of the table in eighth position on 76 points, above only Bangladesh (47) and Zimbabwe (5).
The Caribbean men were also hammered by an innings and 212 runs inside three days in last week’s opening Test.
Cummins though is confident that he can make a meaningful contribution if selected.
“I’m looking forward to putting my best foot forward and do my best. I played against some of the guys in a Vice Chancellor XI when they toured the Caribbean and I bowled really well,” he noted.
“I’ve been bowling well all season, so all that is left is for me to go to Australia and bowl how I know I am capable of bowling and I have no doubt I will be successful.”
Cummins is one of nine Barbadians named in the squad, the others being captain Jason Holder, Kraigg Braithwaite, Carlos Braithwaite, Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope, Kemar Roach and Jomel Warrican.