The International Cricket Council has banned West Indies bowler, Shannon Gabriel for the first four matches of the one-day series, after being found guilty of ‘personal abuse of an opposing player’.
The 30-year old made the homophobic comments towards England captain Joe Root during the third Test in St Lucia. Root received widespread praise for his response to the bowler saying: “Don't use it as an insult. There is nothing wrong with being gay.”
Notes of commendation included director of Sport at LGBT charity Stonewall, Kirsty Clarke who said "Language is really influential and it's great if Joe Root was willing to challenge potentially abusive comments...The more players, fans, clubs and organisations that stand up for equality in sport, the sooner we kick discrimination out and make sport everyone's game."
It is unknown exactly what Gabriel’s initial comments were after Root refused to share details of the incident, but the fast-bowler was later charged by the on-field umpires under article 2.13 of the code of conduct that covers “language of a personal, insulting, obscene and/or offensive nature”. Shannon admitted the offence and was subsequently fined 75% of his match fee as well as three demerit points.
The ban resulted as an accumulation of five other demerit points that had already been received by Gabriel from two previous incidents.