Gone are the days players could get away with anything and everything to provoke a reckless reaction from the opponent. It’s not the same ignorant world we live in now. Every moment on the cricket field gets monitored. The conversation between the batsman and the bowler can be heard through stump mics.
On Day 3 of the third Test between England and Windies yesterday, the visitors were piling on runs as skipper Joe Root spearheaded their second innings. Windies bowler Shanon Gabriel tried to unsettle Root by sledging him. Sledging has been a part of the game, every player expects it from the opponent. But Gabriel may have crossed the line by a mile trying to get under Root’s skin.
Root did not give out details of the whole episode in the press conference but Gabriel allegedly made a few homophobic comments in the 43rd over.
To this, the 28-year-old replied by saying, “Don’t use it as an insult. There is nothing wrong in being gay.” Soon enough, the on-field umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharamsena intervened and warned Gabriel. According to Daily Telegraph, the match referee was satisfied with how on-field umpires dealt with the issue.
Root went on to score a century in the dead rubber. However, he did not lash out at the Windies fast bowler in the press conference but feels Gabriel might regret it in retrospect. He said,
“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,”
Windies interim coach Richard Pybus took the matter seriously. He said,
“Nothing has been reported to me. But if a comment was made, we’ll review it. And, if it was untoward, we’ll be addressing it,”
Root was applauded by former English skipper Nasser Hussain for how he handled things on-field,
I don’t know who said what to whom .. but boy do I applaud Joe Root’s reaction here . For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a test hundred or possible victory. https://t.co/QMDHhO3VAC
— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) February 12, 2019
Recently, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was banned by International Cricket Council (ICC) for his racist comments towards Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. ICC might want to take another stringent action against the Caribbean bowler as it might have repercussions if they let it pass by unpunished.