'There's nothing wrong with being gay!': England cricketer reacts to homophobic 'slurs'

Shannon Gabriel and Joe Root shake hands after the third Test

Pressure is growing on cricket authorities to investigate an alleged homophobic slur made by West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel to England captain Joe Root.

After play had finished on day three, Root admitted Gabriel said something he "might regret" during the incident. "There's nothing wrong with being gay!"

Gabriel's part of the conversation was not picked up by the stump microphone but the Trinidadian was spoken to by at least one of the on-field umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Rod Tucker, about his language.

Root said: "You're playing Test cricket, people will look at this game as a dead rubber but it certainly doesn't feel like that when you're playing for your country - everything counts, every opportunity counts".

"I just don't feel like I have to force it as much", he said of his extended run-up, which has dispensed with his sprinter-like initial burst of speed.

"It was a good hard scrap for most of it which was really enjoyable because sometimes when things aren't quite happening for you you think you're battling a little bit".

HEATED: Joe Root (left) issued a brilliant on-field response to Shannon Gabriel (right) (Pic: GETTY) Related Articles "I think it should stay on the field".

One person wrote: "What a legend.

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It was a good job I didn't take my pads off", he said after with a smile.

West Indies' interim coach, Richard Pybus, claimed he was unaware of the incident.

Opener Rory Burns had earlier scored 29 and Joe Denly, 20, as England made a slow start after being sent in on a two-paced wicket at the Darren Sammy National Stadium.

Seamer Joseph got the breakthrough 40 minutes before lunch, when he bowled Jennings off his pads, to leave England 108 for two at the interval. "I thought in my own mind I was an England player but I hadn't shown it", he said.

"The series has been played in exceptional spirit, I wouldn't want to pre-empt anything".

His rediscovered self-belief came to fruition on the second day in St Lucia, but he had had to wait for the opportunity after being a late call-up to the England squad in the Caribbean when Olly Stone returned home with a back injury before the first Test.

"Shannon is a proper old-school fast bowler, I think we need to find out if there is anything behind the rumours and then we'll address it".

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