Windies pace bowler Shannon Gabriel has been suspended for four ODIs by ICC for breaching ICC code of conduct. The pacer had made controversial comments in the third Test against England while sledging England skipper Joe Root.
The sanction against Gabriel was proposed by Jeff Crowe of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees while the charges were levelled by on-field umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena and third umpire Chris Gaffaney.
The Windies pacer will now miss the first four ODIs in the five match series against England.
The pace bowler had received three demerit points in April 2017 when was found guilty of making deliberate physical contact with Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
He then earned two more points in November 2018 for an incident involving Bangladesh’s Imrul Kayes. He was banned for one Test against Bangladesh.
Gabriel now has eight demerit points within the same two-year period, which means he has four suspension points and this is equivalent to a ban from two Tests or four limited-overs internationals.
The Windies pacer has offered an unreserved apology through a statement. He has said that he extends an unreserved apology to his team-mates, members of England team and especially to captain Joe Root for a comment which in the context of on the field rivalry, he assumed was inoffensive and sporting banter. He said that he knows now that it was offensive and for that he is deeply sorry.
The pacer revealed that the exchange occurred during a tense moment on the field. The pressure was on and England’s captain Joe Root was looking at him intensely as he prepared to bowl, which may have been the usual psychological strategy with which all Test cricketers are familiar.
According to Gabriel, he asked Root, “Why are you smiling at me? Do you like boys?”
Root’s response, which was picked up by the microphone, was: ‘Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay’ and then Gabriel responded: ‘I have no issues with that, but you should stop smiling at me.’