Racist and sexist tweets that England’s bowler Ollie Robinson did as an 18-year-old have landed him in trouble nine years later in the middle of his Test debut at home.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has suspended the player from international cricket until an investigation is completed by the board. The player claimed seven wickets on his Test debut against New Zealand at the Lord’s Cricket Stadium that ended in a draw.
His good performance was not able to save him from the axe as the ECB prioritized discipline over performance. His old tweets that resurfaced recently took the cricket world by storm.
During the game when the controversy began, he apologized for his social posts and said: “I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today. I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist.”
Some fans argued that the tweets are way old and should not have an effect on his job, while the others claimed that Robinson deserved to be axed from the side.
The 27-year-old, who went for 7-101 and scored 42 in his only innings, has been asked to leave the England camp and return to his county, Sussex.
England captain Joe Root’s stance on Ollie Robinson’s tweets
In the post-game interview, England skipper Joe Root hailed Robinson’s display on debut and claimed that he could achieve glory in Tests for England.
“He’s contributed well with the bat, his performance with the ball was excellent. He’s showed high levels of skill and he’s definitely got the game that can be successful in Test cricket,” Root said.
However, the England skipper was adamant that what his player did as an 18-year-old is not acceptable within cricket by any means.
Root remarked: “But in regards to the stuff that’s happened off the field, it’s not acceptable within our game. We all know that. He addressed the dressing room straight away. He obviously spoke to you guys and other media outlets straight away, fronted up to it. He showed a lot of remorse from that point onwards. You can see it’s very genuine from how he’s been around the group and the team.”
The England leader was of the view that he couldn’t believe the tweets personally. “I didn’t really know how to take it on the surface. I think the most important thing is Ollie is part of this dressing room and we had to support him,” Root concluded.
In conversation with BBC Sport, ex-England captain Michael Vaughan also weighed in on the subject. He said: “He has got to go away, learn and educate himself – and become a better person for it.”
“In terms of what he has delivered on the cricket field, he is a Test-match player. He will certainly be back playing Test cricket.”