WEST INDIES fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been caught up in a homophobic row following a fiery exchange of words with Joe Root.
At one stage on day three of the Third Test, captain Root was picked up by the stump mic appearing to say: “There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
Root, who scored a century, had refused to say what provoked his comment. Gabriel was spoken to after play by match officials but referee Jeff Crowe and the umpires will not lay any charges.
Gabriel also had a fierce battle with Ben Stokes in the evening session involving plenty of glares and stares and the occasional smile. That confrontation appeared reasonably good-natured.
Root said: “He’s an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match. Sometimes people say things on the field they might regret, but they should stay on the field.
“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.
“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.”
Root, who scored his 16th Test century, was batting at the time with Joe Denly, who enhanced his Ashes chances with a maiden fifty.
Root added: “It was a good, hard scrap and to be not out at the end of the day was very pleasing. It’s been a tough series but we’re in a position of strength with two days to go.
“When you play Test cricket, there’s no such thing as a dead rubber. You have the opportunity to play for your country and it means the world.
“Joe Denly played beautifully and showed good balance, style and grace. He should take a lot of confidence from that.”
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