West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel has apologised for his homophobic sledge during the St Lucia test against England.

This comes after England captain Joe Root was picked up on a broadcast feed saying to Gabriel: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."

The preceding comment by Gabriel could not be heard on the clip posted by British broadcaster Sky Sports.

In a written statement, Gabriel revealed his account of the conversation that took place between him and Root.

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"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," he wrote in the statement.

"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.

"I recognize now that I was attempting to break through my own tension when I said to Joe Root: 'Why are you smiling at me? Do you like boys?'

"His response, which was picked up by the microphone, was: 'Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay.' I then responded: 'I have no issues with that, but you should stop smiling at me.'"

The West Indies star was charged with "personal abuse" under the ICC's Code of Conduct.

The ICC says Gabriel admitted to charge, where he was given a four-match ban and fined 75 per cent of his match fee.

Gabriel called the episode a learning experience for himself.

"Joe Root and I have since spoken and I am comforted by the fact that there are no hard feelings between us," he added.

"I think it is fair to say that neither of us ever expected the issue to escalate to the point that it has. Nonetheless, I embrace this as a learning experience and as an opportunity for myself and all athletes to recognise the need for sensitivity and respect in their interactions with all."