Comments on Root were blown out of proportion: Shannon Gabriel
West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel believes his controversial comments on Joe Root during the 2019 Test series, were blown out of proportion. During the St Lucia Test, Gabriel made an apparent homophobic remark on the England skipper, which handed him a four-match ban. Although Gabriel said the "story was not entirely true", he is aiming to make a strong comeback. Here is more.
Here is what panned out in the St Lucia Test
In the third Test between West Indies and England at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, the stump microphone overheard Root telling Gabriel "there's nothing wrong with being gay". The Caribbean seamer later claimed that he had asked Root "do you like boys?" As a result, Gabriel was penalized for his homophobic remarks, having received a four-match suspensions by the international Cricket Council (ICC).
'I have come here to do my best', says Gabriel
"I just think it was just blown way out of proportion. The story that was told was not entirely true, but I just want to move on and forget that. I've just come here to play good cricket and do my best," said Gabriel.
'You can't get away with the personal banter'
Gabriel said the personal banter can not be snubbed, going into the series. "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," he added. "It'll be a different feeling from playing in front of a packed crowd to no spectators."
Gabriel was included in the list of reserves
The 32-year-old could not find a cut in West Indies' squad for the Test series, however, he was named in the 11-player reserves list. He is unlikely to play the series opener at the Ageas Bowl, with Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder already in line. Besides, Gabirel will have plenty to offer as the series progresses.
West Indies' Test squad for England tour
West Indies' Test squad for England tour: Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder (captain), Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach
The list of 11 reserve players
Reserve players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican