Joe Root was involved in a tense exchange with West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel. Gabriel, who led a West Indies attack depleted by injury, had a running verbal battle with Root throughout the day as the England captain compiled his 16th Test century.
West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was warned by on-field umpires for using abusive language following an interaction with England captain Joe Root during the third day of the third Test in St Lucia on Monday, according to British media reports.
Root was involved in a running verbal battle with the West Indies fast bowler on his way to an unbeaten 111. During the afternoon session footage from the Sky broadcast emerged on social media that appeared to show the England captain telling Gabriel “There is nothing wrong with being gay”.
Here’s the video:
Great work from Joe Root here. Difficult in the middle of a Test match to stand up for what’s right, but did it anyway ? ? pic.twitter.com/5ZyHxkRNdQ
— Ryan Shahin (@ryan_shahin) February 12, 2019
No audio has emerged to clarify what prompted Root to say this. Gabriel was spoken to by the umpires, Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena, and warned about his conduct. The officials are understood to have told the match referee, Jeff Crowe, that they did not hear anything that would fall foul of the ICC’s code of conduct.
Umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena had a word with Gabriel soon after.
‘Nothing wrong with being gay’ – Joe Root praised for challenging Shannon Gabriel comment.
Root, who finished the day on 111 not out, refused to divulge what Gabriel said when asked about the incident at the end of day’s play, saying it should stay on the field.
“It’s Test cricket and (Shannon) is an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match. Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret,” the report quoted Root as telling reporters.
Asked if Gabriel crossed the line of acceptability, Root said: “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.”
“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.”
West Indies’ coach Richard Pybus said he was not aware of what transpired but promised to address the issue if anything “untoward” was said.
At the end of day three, England were 325-4 in the second innings, with a commanding lead of 448 runs with Root and Ben Stokes at the crease.
This series has generally been played in good spirits. Gabriel has had a running verbal battle with Ben Stokes but that is what you would expect between a leading fast bowler and an aggressive all-rounder. West Indies lead the three-Test series 2-0 after victories in Bridgetown and Antigua.
Last year the ICC cracked down on abusive language used on the field of play and has allowed broadcasters to turn up the stump microphones in order to force players to watch what they say.
Pakistan’s captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, was last week banned for four matches for making a racist remark to South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. The stump mic picked him up using the Urdu word “kaale”, meaning black.
Last month, Pakistan’s captain Sarfraz Ahmed landed in trouble after a seemingly racist comment he made to South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo was caught on the broadcast stump mics and discussed by the commentators.
During the 37th over of South Africa’s chase in the second ODI in Durban, Sarfraz was caught on the stump mics taunting the batsman, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.
Literal translation: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
On commentary, Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja, “What’s he saying there Ramiz?”
“Difficult really to translate that,” Ramiz replied. “It’s a big long sentence.”