Australian cricketer James Faulkner has said speculation over his sexuality following posts on social media is just a “misunderstanding”.
The all-rounder shared a picture on Instagram and Twitter of himself alongside his mother and a man he described as his “boyfriend”.
It was captioned “Birthday dinner with the boyfriend @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner #togetherfor5years.”
It led to the 29-year-old receiving support from colleagues in the Australian cricket team and fans.
Glenn Maxwell replied to the post with the message “great courage”, and Shaun Tait added: “Great courage mate, bet u feel better.”
However, Faulkner later confirmed on his Instagram account that he was not gay.
He said: “There seems to be a misunderstanding about my post from last night, I am not gay, however it has been fantastic to see the support from and for the LBGT community.
“Let’s never forget love is love, however @robjubbsta is just a great friend. Last night marked five years of being house mates! Good on everyone for being so supportive.”
His original post was edited to include “best mate!!!” in his description of Mr Jubb, who is also said to be Faulkner’s business partner.
Cricket Australia (CA) released a statement after the post gained widespread attention, apologising for “any unintended offence”.
It said: “Cricket Australia does not consider the social commentary this morning from James Faulkner to be a joke, nor does James.
“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.”