The Barmy Army had the perfect response to Shannon Gabriel's alleged sledge. Picture: AAP
The Barmy Army had the perfect response to Shannon Gabriel's alleged sledge. Picture: AAP

Barmy Army’s classic response to ‘homophobic insult’

West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel has been charged by the International Cricket Council for on-field comments made during the third Test against England in St Lucia.

But the bigger burn was delivered by England's travelling supporter group, the Barmy Army.

Gabriel was warned by the on-field umpires for a comment made during an exchange with England captain Joe Root on day three in St Lucia.

The 30-year-old's words were not audible but the stump microphone picked up Root saying, "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay".

 

West Indies' Shannon Gabriel has been charged by the ICC over the insult. Picture: AP
West Indies' Shannon Gabriel has been charged by the ICC over the insult. Picture: AP

And the Barmy Army followed Root's lead, and serenaded Gabriel with gay anthems as he came out to bat on day four of the third Test.

On the playlist were It's Raining Men, the Village People's YMCA and ABBA's Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight) - before they swayed the local ground DJ to throw in 'A Little Respect'.

Gabriel was dismissed for three runs as the home team was humbled in a 232-run defeat to England - but still walked away with a 2-1 series victory.

An ICC statement released on Tuesday read: "Shannon Gabriel has been charged with a breach Article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct. The charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by Match Referee Jeff Crowe. Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further." The ECB made no comment.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, in St Lucia in his role as a television commentator, tweeted his admiration for Root's stance.

"I don't know who said what to whom...but boy do I applaud Joe Root's reaction here," Hussain wrote.

"For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a Test hundred or possible victory."

 

England's captain Joe Root and West Indies' captain Jason Holder shake hands. Picture: AP
England's captain Joe Root and West Indies' captain Jason Holder shake hands. Picture: AP

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Speaking after finishing day three 111 not out, Root gave a measured assessment of the on-field exchange.

"It's Test cricket, he's an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match... sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field," he said.

West Indies head coach Richard Pybus, speaking at close of play, told BBC Radio's Test Match Special: "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."

 

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