Former Indian Test cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has left fans picking their jaws up off the floor after sharing his opinion on Shannon Gabriel’s clash with Joe Root on Tuesday.
The West Indian bowler was warned by umpires for abusive language after a confrontation with the England skipper during the third Test in St Lucia.
Root later refused to divulge what was said, but stump microphones overheard him telling Gabriel: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
Umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena spoke to Gabriel afterwards and reportedly told the match referee about what they’d heard.
While many in the cricket world applauded Root for calling out homophobia, Manjrekar left plenty scratching their heads.
“After Sarfraz it’s Shannon Gabriel now who could be in trouble thanks to the stump mics,” he wrote on Twitter.
“#ICC must brainstorm and decide if increased use of stump mics is actually good for the game or not.”
After Sarfraz it’s Shannon Gabriel now who could be in trouble thanks to the stump mics. #ICC must brainstorm and decide if increased use of stump mics is actually good for the game or not.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 12, 2019
The 53-year-old, who moved into commentating after retiring from the game, has a reputation among Indian cricket fans for making outlandish statements.
His reference to Sarfraz Ahmed follows the Pakistan captain receiving a four-match ban from the ICC after a racist remark towards South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo was picked up by the stump microphones.
The situation appears cut and dry: players should not verbally abuse opponents, particularly and especially not with racist, homophobic or otherwise offensive language.
While it remains to be seen if Gabriel will be punished – the comment that led to Root’s reply was not picked up by the microphones – Manjrekar certainly missed the point of the debate.
Cricket fans from all over the world attempted to enlighten the 37-Test player:
Very strange. One would expect better from 'verified cricket commentators'. Good banter has never gotten anyone in trouble, but hate speech will always do. And hate speech is not good natured, sporting banter. https://t.co/di72VO84VO
— C. S. Chiwanza (@CSChiwanza) February 12, 2019
Strange take. It enables governing bodies to take a stand against behaviour that would have otherwise been undocumented. If players are speaking poorly to one another, the solution isn't to sweep it under the rug. https://t.co/GzIH7xQxWc
— James Godby (@jimlikescricket) February 12, 2019
Yes, the stump mics are definitely the problem here https://t.co/xDqUZC4MPs
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) February 12, 2019
"You can't even be racist or homophobic these days, Stew, in case a stump mic picks it up." https://t.co/PewRfToSGF
— Dave Tickner (@tickerscricket) February 12, 2019
Stump mics being turned up is the solution, not the problem. https://t.co/mStFk3OZ9w
— 1 Tip 1 Hand (Edges & Sledges Cricket Podcast) (@1tip1hand) February 12, 2019
Just imagine thinking that the stump mic is the problem and not the fact that people are being racists and homophobic.
— Clive (@vanillawallah) February 12, 2019
What a ridiculous point of view, players are responsible for their behaviour- and if they make homophobic or racial slurs then they should be held responsible and banned https://t.co/1zxvAEjGHG
— The Pride of Utopia (@Krimnal) February 12, 2019
Not sure this is what I took away from the two incidents… https://t.co/0yYAvneS6F
— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) February 12, 2019
Imagine thinking stump mics are the problem and not culturally ingrained racism and homophobia… https://t.co/bCgzU2w4G3
— Nakul Pande (@NakulMPande) February 12, 2019