Shannon Gabriel, West Indies fast bowler, has insisted that his role in the ‘homophobic incident’ involving Joe Root was blown ‘our of proportion’ and he is keen to move on from it.
Last year, Gabriel landed in a controversy during the St. Lucia Test against England when Joe Root was heard on the stump microphone telling Gabriel don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay”.
Gabriel’s part of the conversation wasn’t released and the Trinidadian was handed a 75℅ fee reduction and three demerit points.
“The way they dealt with it, it was blown way out of proportion. The story that was told was not entirely the truth but I just want to move on and forget it. That’s the past and I’m looking forward to the future now,” Shannon Gabriel told PA.
“I don’t really think about it too much’- Shannon Gabriel
The 32-year-old is back in England for the Test series and he still insists that while he was wrong in abusing the opponent, he didn’t use any verbal slur. Gabriel, however, does not want to delve too much on the past and is focussed on the upcoming Test series.
“I don’t really think about it too much, whatever happened…whatever was said. I don’t really want to harp on that too much. I’ve just come here to play good cricket in the series, if selected, and do my best for West Indies cricket.” Shanon Gabriel added.
Joe Root earned a lot of plaudits for his actions while Gabriel had to endure boos from both the Barmy Army and the St. Lucia crowd. So, does he have any enmity against Joe Root?
“No hard feelings. I’ve come here to play cricket and whether it’s Joe or Ben Stokes or whoever, I’m going to do the best of my ability to get them out. It’s not like I target one player.” he said.
There would be no crowds this time around as the Test matches will be played behind closed doors. The lack of crowd means that the on-field verbal duels could come into the focus even more. But Gabriel feels that a bit of personal banter is good for the game as long as no crosses the line.
“You can’t get away from a bit of personal banter. As long as it stays in the rules of the game and it’s not disrespectful, I don’t think much will change,” Gabriel reckoned.