Shannon Gabriel given four-match ban for alleged homophobic comment

England's captain Joe Root raises his bat after leaving the field on 111 not out in the third West Indies test

England cricket captain Joe Root has said he told West Indies opponent Shannon Gabriel there was "nothing wrong with being gay" because it was the right thing to do.

"There is nothing wrong with being gay", Root can be heard telling Gabriel.

Windies bowler Shannon Gabriel will miss the first four matches of the one-day series after accepting an ICC charge relating to a comment made to England's Joe Root.

The England skipper was, however, quick to play down the exchange.

Article 2.13 of the ICC's code of conduct applies to use of "language of a personal, insulting, obscene and/or offensive nature". "Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further".

Stonewall, a leading UK LGBT equality charity, had earlier led the plaudits for Root's calm response to Gabriel in the heat of battle.

Umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena had a word with Gabriel soon after.

In the post-match conference, he refused to divulge any more details of the incident saying, "Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field".

Root declined to elaborate on the specifics of the verbal altercation and was asked again about the incident after England won the final Test by 232 runs, although West Indies claimed the series 2-1. He's a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is.

A statement from the ICC said: "During the third day of the St Lucia Test against England on Monday, Gabriel was found guilty of breaching article 2.13 of the ICC code of conduct. which relates to "personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an global match", following an incident with Root". He's had a wonderful series and he should be proud.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, who is also a Sky Sports cricket expert, told Sky News: "Joe Root as a role model, as England captain, stood up in the middle of a Test match to what he thought was homophobic abuse and said "I'm not having that". Ms Davies said on her Twitter account.

West Indies coach Richard Pybus said there have been no reports of abusive language but will investigate if any are made.



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