Gabriel ‘deeply sorry’ for asking Root ‘do you like boys?’

Shannon Gabriel Joe Root abuse

Shannon Gabriel has come clean and offered an ‘unreserved apology’ for what he said to Joe Root during their infamous exchange during the St Lucia Test.

Gabriel was handed three demerit points after accepting an ICC charge and with that taking his total demerit points to eight he will now miss the first four ODIs of the series against England.

The West Indies paceman admits that he asked Root “Why are you smiling at me? Do you like boys?”

This was a comment delivered, Gabriel says, “in the context of on-the-field rivalry” and at the time he considered it nothing more than “sporting banter”.

To his credit, in a statement notable for being far more open and contrite than many of its ilk, Gabriel admits he got this wrong and offers a genuine, unqualified apology: “I know now that it was offensive and for that I am deeply sorry.”

Gabriel says he will use the incident as “a learning experience” and also notes “Joe Root and I have since spoken and I am comforted by the fact that there are no hard feelings between us”.

Fair play, we reckon. As these statements go it’s a good one. The original comment is clearly childish and unacceptable, but the reactions of Root on the field and Gabriel here are spot on.