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

Seamer Keemo Paul struck with the first ball of the day

Seamer Keemo Paul struck with the first ball of the day

Gabriel has been charged under article 2.13 of the ICC code of conduct covering directing "language of a personal, insulting, obscene and/or offensive nature".

Gabriel has been sanctioned for his part in an on-field exchange with Root on day three of the third Test in St Lucia, which ended with the England captain telling the 30-year-old: "Don't use it as an insult".

After the drubbing in the first two Test matches, England have finally found form in the 3rd Test against West Indies at St Lucia.

Television footage shared on social media showed Root appearing to respond to a comment from Gabriel by saying: "Don't use it as an insult".

"Gabriel already had five demerit points against his name for two earlier incidents - three demerit points during the Jamaica Test against Pakistan in April 2017 and two demerit points in the Chittagong Test against Bangladesh last November", the ICC said in a statement. There was no formal hearing with the match referee, Jeff Crowe, after he accepted the charge. "I know there are people who think the opposite and think it is good for the game but sometimes in the heat of battle things are said, when guys given a bit of time to sit down and think about it would give themselves a bit of a kick up the backside".

"A wonderful and hugely important reply from Joe Root here to the sledging by Shannon Gabriel", Owens tweeted."Delivered with calm and dignity and with a bigger impact than hitting the ball for six. I don't want anything said in the middle to ruin what's been a good test series for him and his team".

The England captain added that the bowler is "a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is".

Kirsty Clarke, director of sport at Stonewall - which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality - told Press Association Sport: "Language is really influential and it's great if Joe Root was willing to challenge potentially abusive comments".

"Nothing has been reported to me but if a comment was made we will review it". Davies said on her Twitter account.

Former England cricket captain Nasser Hussain also praised Root, who was eventually bowled out by Gabriel after scoring 122 runs-more than any of his teammates.

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