Australian all-rounder James Faulkner says the support he has received from the LGBT community is “fantastic” – but it came after a misunderstanding.
Faulkner shared a picture on Instagram alongside his mother and a man he described as his “boyfriend”.
Followers, including former cricketers Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Tait, responded by praising his “great courage”.
“There seems to be a misunderstanding about my post from last night, I am not gay,” said Faulkner.
“However, it has been fantastic to see the support from and for the LBGT community. Let’s never forget love is love. Good on everyone for being so supportive.”
Faulkner, who is set to play Twenty20 cricket for Lancashire this summer, has played one Test and 69 one-day internationals for Australia. He was man of the match in the 2015 World Cup final.
He added that the man in the picture was “just a great friend. Last night marked five years of being house mates!” and edited his original post to included “best mate!!!”.
Cricket Australia (CA) released a statement after the post gained widespread attention, apologising for “any unintended offence”.
“Cricket Australia does not consider the social commentary this morning from James Faulkner to be a joke, nor does James,” it said.
“His comment was made as a genuine reflection of his relationship with his business partner, best friend and house mate of five years. He was not contacted for clarification before some outlets reported his Instagram post as an announcement of a homosexual relationship.
“James and CA are supportive of the LGBQTI community and recognises coming out can be an incredibly emotional time. The post was not in any way meant to make light of this.”
Somerset’s Steven Davies became the first active male professional cricketer to come out as gay in 2011.