Friday, 22 February, 2019

Joe Root praised after apparently saying 'there's nothing wrong with being gay'

Keaton Jennings has been recalled for the third Test Keaton Jennings has been recalled for the third Test
Frederick Owens | 13 February, 2019, 23:41

West Indies did not help their increasingly hard situation when Shimron Hetmyer put down a simple chance offered by new batsman Joe Denly off Shannon Gabriel.

Speaking after the close of play, Root refused to elaborate on what exactly had been said.

"It's Test cricket. He's an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match.

I know there are people who think the opposite and think it is good for the game but sometimes in the heat of battle things are said when guys given a bit of time to sit down and think about it would give themselves a bit of a kick up the backside". "I don't want anything said in the middle to ruin what's been a good Test series for him and his team".

Asked if Gabriel's comment had crossed a line, Root added: "I think it should stay on the field".

Joe Root's reaction during a heated incident with Shannon Gabriel has been lauded as "more important than a victory".

Root surprised when he chose to keep batting in the morning, moving from 111 to 122 in six overs when he hit a full toss from Shannon Gabriel to midwicket. "There's nothing wrong being gay".

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Root went on to produce a terrific display, racking up 111 runs not out to end the day with England sitting on 325-4 ahead of the fourth day.

Joe Root joined Denly and the pair have continued to play positively with the England captained, who has endured a awful campaign with the bat apart from his team's struggles before this match, contributing 18 to a third-wicket partnership so far worth 35 runs.

Whether the match referee Jeff Crowe deems the incident worthy of further attention remains to be seen, while West Indies head coach Richard Pybus promised to take further action "if it was untoward".

It was Gabriel though who made the first strike of the morning by bowling Jos Buttler on his overnight score of 67 with just one run added to the total.

"If Shannon Gabriel has really made a homophobic comment, [the] ICC should deal with it harshly", wrote cricket historian Abhishek Mukherjee‏.

"I watched Gabriel all season knocking us down and thought I had to get some back for us", he said of his raw pace.

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