England-West Indies Test rocked by star's unsavoury slur

West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel charged for language used in England Test

Image Courtesy Reuters

Holder who scored a double century recently led the West Indies to a series win over England this winter, but is banned for the third test because of his side's slow over-rate in Antigua.

"Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret".

Captain Joe Root (122) declared immediately after he miscued a full toss from Shannon Gabriel to mid-wicket, leaving Windies to either score 485 or survive more than five and a half sessions for a draw. He later claimed the wicket of Root - caught at midwicket - to signal an England declaration.

However, Root's heroics with the bat were partly overshadowed by an on-field verbal exchange with West Indies paceman Gabriel as England stretched to a lead of 448 at the Darren Sammy Stadium.

According to The Guardian newspaper, Gabriel's comments were not picked up by stump microphones but Root was heard telling the bowler: "There's nothing wrong with being gay".

"The battle was a good contest, he's had a wonderful series and he should be proud".

Following the close of play, England's current skipper was asked to explain the tussle with Gabriel.

England reached 19-0 in its second innings at stumps.

He added: "I wouldn't use the words so strong to say intimidate with pace but when you have pace, as someone who played the game as a fast bowler, it gives you more options of being able outfox the batters".

He told Sky News: "Joe Root as a role model, as England captain, stood up in the middle of a Test match to what he thought was homophobic abuse and said "I'm not having that".

Former footballer and current BBC pundit Ian Wright said simply: 'Joe Root.

However, Gabriel's comments may be the centre of attention regardless of the result after he received a warning from the onfield umpires for the incident during day three of the third Test in St Lucia. "This calm and firm response will make a difference in ways we may never see and never know", she tweeted.

"It's been a tough series for me personally and for the guys so to respond as we have today and be in this position of strength with two days left is really pleasing", he said.

Root went on to produce a terrific display, racking up 111 runs not out to end the day with England sitting on 325-4 ahead of the fourth day.

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