30 Apr 2019

Australian cricketer James Faulkner...are you in or out?

12:00 pm on 30 April 2019

Cricket Australia says an Instagram and Twitter post from Australian cricketer James Faulkner implying he had been in a same-sex relationship was "a joke that has been taken out of context".

Celebrating his 29th birthday Faulkner used the occasion to announce via social media that he has been in a five-year relationship with partner Rob Jubb.

"Birthday dinner with the boyfriend @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner #togetherfor5years", (sic) Faulkner posted alongside a picture of a dinner with his mother and partner.

Faulkner was man of the match in the 2015 one-day World Cup final when Australia beat New Zealand.

Cricket Australia though now says the post has been been misinterpreted and Faulkner later edited it.

However the initial post received positive feedback from former and current teammates and received more than 18,000 likes, and led news sites internationally.

"Great courage", Glenn Maxwell, who played alongside Faulkner in Australia and Melbourne Stars colours regularly before the latter joined the Hobart Hurricanes, commented on the photo.

A similar sentiment was shared by former Australian internationals Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.

Several female cricketers, including White Ferns couple Amy Satterthwaite and Lea Tahuhu, have publicly confirmed they are in same-sex relationships, it's unusual in the men's game.

Eight years ago former England international Steven Davies became the first active professional male player to announce that he is gay.