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ICC pulls up Shannon Gabriel; Joe Root widely praised

Root Gabriel
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The ICC has charged the West Indies’ Shannon Gabriel with a Code of Conduct breach following comments he directed at Joe Root during the final Test in St Lucia.

Gabriel is under scrutiny for potentially homophobic remarks. While the broadcasters didn’t pick up what he said, the stump mics caught Joe Root’s response: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

“Gabriel has been charged with a breach [of] Article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct. The charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by Match Referee Jeff Crowe. Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further,” a tweet put out by the cricket body said.

Article 2.1.3 of the Code of Ethics as posted on the ICC website says, “Safeguarding the dignity of the individual is fundamental. All forms of harassment (whether physical, verbal, mental, sexual or otherwise) are prohibited.”

Soon after the incident on the third day of the Test, which England won to finish the series 1-2, umpires clarified that they had spoken to the bowler. Root had made it clear that he didn’t want to take the matter further, saying that “sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret”, but the ICC stepped in to look into the matter.

Root’s response, meanwhile, has come in for considerable praise, with the England captain being hailed as a role model. Steve Davies, the former England wicketkeeper who came out as gay in 2011, said on social media, “There is no room … for any form of discrimination,” while Kate Richardson-Walsh, the former England hockey captain, who is gay, declared, “This is what being an LGBTQ ally looks like.”

“I don’t know who said what to whom … but boy do I applaud Joe Root’s reaction here. For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a [Test] hundred or possible victory,” added Nasser Hussain.

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