West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel has been suspended for the first four One-Day Internationals after sledging England captain Joe Root during the third Test in St Lucia.
On the third day of the third Test between England and West Indies, stump mics caught an interaction between Shannon Gabriel and two England batsmen, Root and Joe Denly; where Root ended by saying that being gay is nothing wrong and requested not to use it as an insult.
“Don’t use it as an insult. There is nothing wrong with being gay.”
The response of Joe Root was more powerful than any anger or protest. His sheer perplexity that someone would use a homophobic epithet as abuse spoke volumes. An important message when homosexuality remains illegal in nations throughout the world @root66 https://t.co/wQ1GwwKV97
— Matthew Syed (@matthewsyed) February 12, 2019
For this comment, Gabriel was found guilty under article 2.13 of the ICC’s Code of Conduct; which is related to “personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire or Match Referee during an international match”.
For this offense, Shannon Gabriel has been fined 75% of his match fee and three demerit points. His action led him to eight demerit points within 24 months which equals to the ban from either two Tests or four ODIs or T20Is, which series he plays first. Earlier, he received five demerit points for two incidents which involved physical contact with opposing players.
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He had received three demerit points when he barged Sarfaraz Ahmed during the Jamaica Test against Pakistan in April 2017 and later received two demerit points in the Chittagong Test against Bangladesh last November due to a similar incident where Imrul Kayes was involved. Because of this offense, he was suspended for the next Test in Mirpur.
Gabriel has accepted his offense as well as the charge so there was no formal hearing of this incident with the match referee, Jeff Crowe. However, Gabriel was not a part in the squad for the first two ODIs against England, he was a replacement for Keemo Paul who got injured.
While talking about Gabriel’s ban, England coach Trevor Bayliss expressed that stump mics should be off between the deliveries.
“I’ve said it once before, no I’m not in favour of it and I’m not going to change my mind,” he expressed. “If stump mics were around a few years ago there would be some blokes seen as ‘holier than thou’ who would have been in trouble as well.”
“I think [stump mics] should be down. I know there are people who think the opposite and think it is good for the game but sometimes in the heat of battle things are said, when guys given a bit of time to sit down and think about it would give themselves a bit of a kick up the backside,” he further added.
However, Root handled the situation very gracefully in the post-match press conference.
“Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field,” Root said.
“It’s Test cricket and he’s an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match. 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, he’s had a wonderful series and he should be proud.”
Though West Indies lost the Test, won the three-match series by 2-1. They will play five ODIs, which will start next Wednesday in Barbados.