Shannon Gabriel
Shannon Gabriel (AFP Photo)

West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel has issued an “unreserved apology” following a four-ODI ban imposed on him by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for breaching code of conduct during the third and final Test against England in St Lucia.

Gabriel was charged by the ICC for a homophobic remark directed at Joe Root which resulted in the England captain chiding him that was caught by the on-field stump mikes.

While Root maintained he didn’t want the matter to escalate and wanted what transpired between him and Gabriel to remain on the field, the ICC went on to issue the ban on Wednesday.

 

Now, Gabriel, in a statement, has revealed the details of that brief exchange apologising to his teammates, England and Root.

“The exchange occurred during a tense moment on the field,” Gabriel said in a statement. “The pressure was on and England’s captain Joe Root was looking at me intensely as I prepared to bowl, which may have been the usual psychological strategy with which all Test cricketers are familiar. I recognize now that I was attempting to break through my own tension when I said to Joe Root: “Why are you smiling at me? Do you like boys?””

The statement continued, “His response which was picked up by the microphone, was: Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” I then responded: “I have no issues with that, but you should stop smiling at me.”

The 30-year-old was charged with a Level 2 offence under article 2.13 of the ICC’s Code of Conduct, that deals with “personal abuse”. Gabriel accepted the charge as he was given a four-match ban and fined 75% of his match fee.