Windies pacer Shannon Gabriel, who has been suspended for the first four One-Day Internationals of the upcoming five-match series against England for abusive comments during the third Test in St. Lucia, has provided his version of events on the incident involving England captain Joe Root. Gabriel has conceded that there was a need for “sensitivity and respect” from athletes in their interactions.

Gabriel was found guilty of breaching article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to “personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire or Match Referee during an international match”, which took his accumulated demerit points to eight. He has also been fined 75% of his match fee.

The incident happened on the third day of the Test, with stump mics picking up an interaction between Gabriel and the England batsmen, which ended with Joe Root stating that “there’s nothing wrong with being gay”.

In his statement, Gabriel said, “I think I owe it to them (friends and well-wishers) and to all supporters of West Indies cricket to provide an accurate record of what happened.

“The exchange occurred during a tense moment on the field. The pressure was on and England’s captain Joe Root was looking at me intensely as I prepared to bowl, which may have been the usual psychological strategy with which all Test cricketers are familiar.

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