Joe Root tells rival bowler: 'There's nothing wrong with being gay'

Shannon Gabriel

But according to British broadcaster Sky Sports, Root was heard replying to Gabriel: "Don't use it as an insult".

Joe Root, who was involved in the exchange with Gabriel said that he "might regret" some of the things he said but refused to elaborate on what those comments might be.

"The charge is under article 2.13, which relates to the personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an global match".

The Yorkshire lad has been praised by Stonewall, a leading United Kingdom equality charity, for challenging West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel during the third Test in St Lucia.

He said: "I think the fast bowlers are always going to try and impose themselves on the game", he added.

'It's Test cricket. He's an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match.

'West Indies have played some fantastic cricket, they are a good bunch of guys and it would be a shame if it tarnishes what has been a good, hard-fought series. But if a comment was made, we'll review it.

"Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret", the report quoted Root as telling reporters.

Root's actions were applauded on social media, with former England captain Nasser Hussain saying Root's reaction would help cement his legacy. "I don't want anything said in the middle to ruin what's been a good Test series for him and his team".

Meanwhile, fellow MP Johnny Mercer hailed Root's "moral courage" in a tweet, while Nigel Owens, who came out as gay in 2007 and refereed rugby union's World Cup final in 2015, said Root's response was "wonderful and hugely important". "For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a test hundred or possible victory".

West Indies' coach Richard Pybus said he was not aware of what transpired but promised to address the issue if anything "untoward" was said.

Article 2.13 of the ICC's code of conduct applies to use of "language of a personal, insulting, obscene and/or offensive nature", with a range of charges covering different levels of seriousness. "And, if it was untoward, we'll be addressing it".

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