FAST bowler Shannon Gabriel could still be charged by cricket chiefs for his homophobic bust-up with Joe Root. The stump mic picked up Root saying
FAST bowler Shannon Gabriel could still be charged by cricket chiefs for his homophobic bust-up with Joe Root.
The stump mic picked up Root saying in response to comments from Gabriel: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
Root refused to reveal what Gabriel said although England’s captain did admit that Gabriel “might regret” his words.
So far, no audio of Gabriel’s comments has emerged.
The on-field umpires claimed after play on day three of the Third Test that they did not hear anything homophobic and match referee Jeff Crowe said he would not be laying charges – although he did speak to Gabriel and warned him about abusive language.
But ICC chief executive Dave Richardson has the power to intervene and has seven days in which to charge a player.
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Richardson is a strong opponent of sledging and last month banned Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed for four matches after the stump mic picked up racist comments he made while playing against South Africa.
Gabriel could be charged under section 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct which is “intended to cover language of a personal, insulting, obscene and/or offensive nature.”
Root has received widespread praise for his reaction to the apparent taunting from Gabriel.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain tweeted: “I don’t know who said what to whom…but boy do I applaud Joe Root’s reaction here. For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a Test hundred or possible victory.”
England initially insisted the incident is closed and Root said that whatever was said on the field should remain on the field.
But Root is known to be aware of cricket’s image and could still decide to take the matter further.
Of Gabriel, Root said: “He’s an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match. Sometimes people say things on the field they might regret, but they should stay on the field.
“He’s a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is. The battle was a good contest, he’s had a wonderful series and he should be proud.
“I think it should stay on the field. I don’t want anything said in the middle to ruin what’s been a good Test series for him and his team.”
Gabriel is from Trinidad, where homosexuality was decriminalised only last year. It remains illegal here in St.Lucia and several other Caribbean islands.
Root was out for 122 – caught at mid-wicket off Gabriel – on day four and immediately declared, setting West Indies 485 runs to win.