ICC charges Shannon Gabriel over homophobic incident called out by Joe Root

The England captain stood up to Gabriel and now the ICC have taken action

Ed Malyon@eaamalyon,Rory Dollard
Tuesday 12 February 2019 21:00
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Jonathan Liew wraps up England's 2-1 series defeat in the West Indies

The International Cricket Council has charged West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel for on-field comments made during the third Test against England in St Lucia.

Gabriel was warned by the on-field umpires for a comment made during an exchange with England captain Joe Root on day three, and though the 30-year-old's words were not audible, the stump microphone picked up Root saying "don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay".

An ICC statement read: "Shannon Gabriel has been charged with a breach Article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct. The charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by Match Referee Jeff Crowe. Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further."

England's travelling fans in the Caribbean, the Barmy Army, sang the Village People classic YMCA at Gabriel as he walked out to bat on Tuesday, a pointed demonstration of their feelings.

Root, meanwhile, has been widely praised for his role in the incident.

Kirsty Clarke, director of sport at Stonewall - which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality - said: "Language is really influential, and it's great if Joe Root was willing to challenge potentially abusive comments.

"The more players, fans, clubs, and organisations that stand up for equality in sport, the sooner we kick discrimination out and make sport everyone's game.

"Stonewall research shows more than half of British people (58 per cent) believe it's important anti-LGBT language is challenged at live sporting events."

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