Cricket: White Ferns skipper Amy Satterthwaite backs stand against homophobic slur

English cricketer Joe Root's stand against homophobia in sport has found support around the world - including one of New Zealand's own cricket stars.

On Tuesday, Root took exception to an alleged gay slur being used against him during a test against the West Indies, telling bowler Shannon Gabriel "don't use it as an insult, there's nothing wrong with being gay" during a mid-pitch exchange in St Lucia.

His stand has struck a chord among his peers, including NZ women's captain Amy Satterwaite, who is married to teammate Lea Tahuhu.

"It was pretty awesome to see someone of his stature stand up for inclusivity in our game," she told Newshub.

"It sort of signifies a normality moving forward that we're not having to stamp out those comments."   

The White Ferns skipper and Tahuhu chose to make their marriage public last March in the hope it would help with this very conversation.

Joe Root confronts Shannon Gabriel
Joe Root confronts Shannon Gabriel over an alleged homophobic slur. Photo credit: Reuters.

"I'd like to think that it's going in a really positive direction and I think we've seen that over the years - it's exciting to be part of that."

Root went on to score a century, before he was caught off Gabriel's bowling, but shrugged off his comments afterwards.

"Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field," said the England captain. "I just did what I thought was right.

"You have responsibility to go about things in a certain manner on the field and it felt appropriate to act how I did."

One of Root's predecessors at the England helm was quick to back him.

"Joe Root, as a role model, as an England captain, stood up in the middle of a test match, to what he heard was a homophobic abuse and he said 'I'm not having that'," said Nasser Hussain, who led the team from 1999-2004.

"He could've shrugged it off, laughed it off. He didn't and I applaud him for it."

Root had the last laugh on Gabriel , with England beating the West Indies by 252 runs.