In Brief

Shannon Gabriel gets four-match ODI ban after asking Joe Root if he ‘liked boys’

West Indies bowler apologises to the England skipper after comments made during the Test match in St Lucia

West Indies cricketer Shannon Gabriel has received a four-match one-day international (ODI) ban for an alleged homophobic comment made to England captain Joe Root.

During day three of the third Test in St Lucia, which England went on to win by 232 runs, bowler Gabriel asked batsman Root if he “liked boys”.

Picked up on the stump microphone England skipper Root responded by saying: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

Root has received widespread praise for his reply, Sky Sports reports, and Gabriel has now apologised for his comments.

The Windies bowler is banned for the first four ODIs against England and in a statement he said: “To my team-mates and members of the England team, especially their captain Joe Root, I extend an unreserved apology for a comment which in the context of on-the-field rivalry, I assumed was inoffensive picong and sporting banter.

“I know now that it was offensive and for that I am deeply sorry.”

He added: “The exchange occurred during a tense moment on the field. 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 recognise now that I was attempting to break through my own tension when I said to Joe Root: ‘Why are you smiling? Do you like boys?’”

ODI series

After losing the Test series 2-1 in the Caribbean England will now face the West Indies in five ODI matches and three Twenty20 internationals.

Ahead of the first ODI on 20 February, England play a warm-up fixture against a University of West Indies Vice Chancellor’s XI.

The one-day warm-up takes place at the Three Ws Oval in Barbados on 17 February (2pm start). 

West Indies vs. England fixtures 

One-day warm-up match
  • 17 February 2019: Vice Chancellor’s XI vs. England (2pm; Three Ws Oval, Barbados)
ODI fixtures
  • 20 February 2019: 1st ODI at Kensington Oval, Barbados (3pm) 
  • 22 February 2019: 2nd ODI at Kensington Oval, Barbados (3pm) 
  • 25 February 2019: 3rd ODI at National Cricket Stadium, Grenada (1.30pm) 
  • 27 February 2019: 4th ODI at National Cricket Stadium, Grenada (1.30pm) 
  • 2 March 2019: 5th ODI at Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium, St Lucia (3pm)

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