West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel has extended an "unreserved apology" over what he said to England captain Joe Root during the third Test in St Lucia.

Gabriel was banned for the first four one-day internationals against England, after the ICC found the West Indies quick guilty of personal abuse towards Root.

Gabriel accepted the ICC charge and moved quickly to issue a full apology to Root by releasing a statement on Thursday.

"The exchange occurred during a tense moment on the field," Gabriel explained in a written statement.

"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 recognise 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 charge was under article 2.13 of the ICC's code of conduct, which relates to the personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an international match.

As per ICC regulations, four suspension points equate to a ban from two Tests or four one-day matches, whichever comes first for the player.

Gabriel had earlier been suspended from the Mirpur Test in November last year when he reached the threshold of four demerit points.

West Indies host England in a five-match ODI series starting on February 20 in Barbados.