W Indian cricketer charged over ‘gay’ row

West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel exchanges words with England captain Joe Root during the third Test

West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been charged by the International Cricket Council following an incident with England captain Joe Root.

Gabriel was warned by the umpires for the language he used on day three of the third Test in St Lucia.

Sky Sports posted a clip of Root responding to a comment from Gabriel by saying: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

Gabriel, 30, has been charged with breaching the ICC’s code of conduct.

The charge is under article 2.13, which relates to the personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an international match.

The original comment by Gabriel was not picked up and Root, 28, refused to explain after play on Monday exactly what was said.

After his side wrapped up victory by 232 runs on Tuesday, Root said he “just did what I thought was right”.

“The ICC have got to handle things and I am not in a position to comment but throughout the series it has been played in the right manner between the two sides,” he said.

“They are a good bunch of guys and it would be a shame if this tarnishes it.

“As a player you feel you have responsibilities to uphold on the field and I stand by what I did.”

The ICC said in a statement: “The charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by match referee Jeff Crowe.

“Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further.”

England said they would not comment on the charge and will wait “until the process is concluded by the ICC”.

Gabriel’s exchange with Root on Monday occurred during the England captain hitting a fine century to put his side in a commanding position.

The tourists went on to secure victory inside four days, having suffered heavy defeats in the opening two Tests to lose the series.

‘A very different attitude in the Caribbean’ – analysis

Commentator Fazeer Mohammed, speaking to the TMS podcast

In the Caribbean, there tends to be a different attitude towards what I will describe as homophobic remarks.

Of course in England and many other parts of the world there’s a very different attitude: there’s a zero level of tolerance to this sort of situation, if it is that he said something that could be defined as homophobic.

It’s all part of the learning process. If you’re playing international sport, with all these microphones, all these cameras around, you’re going to get caught sooner or later.

At the end of the day, whether it’s Shannon Gabriel or somebody else, they will have to recognise that the comments that they would make with their friends, their mates, in nightclubs, or in any other environment, which might be considered acceptable in that situation, is certainly not acceptable in the international field of play.

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