Shannon Gabriel is under the microscope.
Shannon Gabriel is under the microscope.

Twist in ‘homophobic’ sledging storm

The International Cricket Council has charged West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel after he was accused by England captain Joe Root of making a homophobic comment.

On day three of the third Test in St Lucia, Root was picked up on a broadcast feed saying to Gabriel: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."

The preceding comment by Gabriel could not be heard on the clip posted by British broadcaster Sky Sports.

The ICC said on Wednesday Gabriel had been charged with a breach of its code of conduct. The governing body tweeted that "the charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by match referee Jeff Crowe".

Initially, it was reported the on-field umpires talked to Gabriel at the time but no further action was going be taken because Crowe was satisfied with how the matter was dealt with. However, that position has now changed.

British sports minister Mims Davies praised Root "for doing the absolute right thing to properly call this out", while former England skippers Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan were also in his corner.

Speaking after finishing day three on 111 not out, Root gave a measured assessment of the on-field exchange.

"It's Test cricket, he's 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, but they should stay on the field," he said.

"He's a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is.

"I don't want anything said in the middle to ruin what's been a good Test series for him and his team."

West Indies head coach Richard Pybus told BBC Radio's Test Match Special: "Nothing has been reported to me but if a comment was made we'll review it and if it was untoward we'll be addressing it."

Root scored 122 in the second innings as the 28-year-old posted his 16th Test ton to help his side defeat the West Indies by 232 runs in St Lucia and pick up a consolation victory in the 2-1 series defeat.

The Windies reached tea at 6/136 on day four in pursuit of 485 before being bowled out for 252 in the final session.

Root stood up for what he believes in.
Root stood up for what he believes in.

James Anderson reduced the hosts to 3/10 with the new ball but Roston Chase's unbeaten 102 ensured the English bowlers had to take all their wickets at the other end.

The first ball of the chase sailed through the vacant fourth slip via a waft of Kraigg Brathwaite's bat. Anderson's frustration was only fleeting, with John Campbell next to succumb just two balls later when caught by Moeen Ali, leaping one-handed in the gully.

Brathwaite's second life lasted little more than an over before he prodded at an Anderson delivery to Ben Stokes.

Anderson then lined up Darren Bravo, who banked an 11-ball duck, feeling for one slanting across him to Root at head height.

England's first-innings hero Mark Wood entered the fray in the 12th over and although he could not recreate the 150km/h rockets that lit up Monday's play, he still had enough pace to pick off Hope.

The Windies limped to lunch on 4/35, still the small matter of 450 short, but Chase and Shimron Hetmyer showed enough resilience to put on 45 in 96 balls before a misjudged run sent the latter packing.

The tail showed some resistance as Kemar Roach (29) and Alzarri Joseph (34) dug in but in the end the West Indies couldn't see out the day.

News Corp Australia