Friday, 22 February, 2019

Windies bowler Gabriel slapped with ban for alleged homophobic comment

England batsman Joe Root plays a shot during his patient innings against the West Indies in St Lucia RICARDO MAZALAN APEngland batsman Joe Root plays a shot during his patient innings against the West Indies in St Lucia
Frederick Owens | 14 February, 2019, 13:49

He accepted a code of conduct charge from the International Cricket Council, which deals with personal abuse during international matches.

The Yorkshire lad has been praised by Stonewall, a leading United Kingdom equality charity, for challenging West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel during the third Test in St Lucia.

"It's Test cricket and (Shannon) is an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match".

The charge means Gabriel has accrued eight demerit points - cricket's disciplinary penalty system - in a two-year period, leading to a four-match one-day worldwide ban. Do you like boys?'

According to The Guardian newspaper, Gabriel's comments were not picked up by stump microphones but Root was heard telling the bowler: "There's nothing wrong with being gay".

Root has been lauded for his response, with former England skipper Nasser Hussain saying it was more important than the Test victory as the tourists won the final match of the series by over 200 runs.

"I then responded: "I have no issues with that, but you should stop smiling at me".

'Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field.

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While another added: "Well said Joe Root, no room for that attitude in sport".

Gabriel had earlier been suspended from the Mirpur test in November past year when he reached the threshold of four demerit points.

Root ended day three in St Lucia with 111 not out, with England on 325-4, taking their lead to 448 and are expected to declare on day four.

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

The UK sports minister, Mims Davies, said Root deserved huge praise for immediately calling out the remarks and said his actions should "serve as an example to anyone who sees homophobic abuse" to do the same. "The battle was a good contest, he's had a wonderful series and he should be proud".

"With the addition of these three demerit points, he has reached the threshold of eight demerit points, which, pursuant to article 7.6 of the Code, have been converted into four suspension points".

The ban covers the first four ODIs of the upcoming five-match series against England starting later this month.

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