Shannon Gabriel vs Joe Root: What exactly happened in the third Test between West Indies and England?
The exhilarating Test series between England and West Indies came to an end on Tuesday, 2-1 in favor of the home side. The West Indians fought hard against the Englishmen to clinch the three-match Test series.
It started on a positive note for West Indies as they won the first Test by a mammoth 381 runs. They ran on the same lines in the second Test as well wherein they dismantled the Englishmen with ten wickets to spare and thereby clinched a historic series win. However, the West Indies couldn't continue the winning momentum in the third Test as England dominated the West Indies and won the game by 232 runs.
Nonetheless, one incident took place in the third Test that spoiled the mood in the West Indies camp. No prizes to guess, it was the homophobic remark from Shannon Gabriel to Joe Root. So, let us look at how exactly the incident took place and how it went by.
How the incident came into the picture?
The incident unfolded, or per se gained picture on the third day of the third and the final Test of the series. The two Joes - Joe Root and Joe Denly - were at the crease while building a mammoth lead. Hence, it was apparent that the partnership was frustrating the West Indian bowlers and soon it took over the heads of Shannon Gabriel as he involved in an unprecedented exchange with Joe Root.
Gabriel passed on a few comments to the English captain. However, the stump mic failed to catch the comments. Nonetheless, Root was heard replying, "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay," which pretty much made sure that the comment by Shannon was somewhere on the same lines mentioned by England's captain. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena was nearby and it was clear that he heard the comments.
How the incident got reported?
The mics failed to catch the comments made by Shannon. However, it was pretty clear that Kumar Dharmasena - who was in the radar - heard the comment. Soon he reported to the other stand-in umpire and both the umpires discussed it on the field.
As mentioned earlier, with Dharmasena having heard the homophobic remark, the match umpires laid the charges of breaching Article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct on the West Indian pacer. Article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct refers to the corporeal insult of a player, support personnel, umpire or match referee amidst an international game as stated under ICC's Rules and Regulations.
With the charges laid by the umpires, the focus was on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to further comment on the incident. The ICC didn't take too long and released a statement - via Twitter - on the fourth day of the Test.
What did the ICC do?
ICC released a media statement on Twitter mentioning, "Shannon Gabriel has been charged with a breach 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."
As per the release from ICC, it is apparent that the Match Referee Jeff Crowe will look into the matter and decide the road ahead for Shannon Gabriel.
Joe Root's say on the matter
After the end of the third day, Root finally opened up about the matter in the press conference and put forth a pretty reasonable stand. "Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field. It's Test cricket and he's an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match. He's a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is. The battle was a good contest, he's had a wonderful series and he should be proud," said Root.
Having won the third Test, Joe Root in the post-match press conference shed some more light on it and said that the ICC should look into it.
"The ICC has got to handle things and I am not in a position to comment but throughout the series, it has been played in the right manner between the two sides. West Indies have played some fantastic cricket, they are a good bunch of guys and it would be a shame if it tarnishes it," maintained the English captain.
"It has been a good hard-fought series. As a player, you feel you have responsibilities to uphold on the field and I stand by what I did. I just did what I thought was right. You have a responsibility to go about things in a certain manner on the field and it felt appropriate to act how I did," concluded Root.