England suspension for Robinson over racist tweets over the top, says minister

Filed on June 7, 2021
England's Ollie Robinson during the fifth day of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. (AFP)

The England player was suspended following tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013

English cricket’s ruling body has gone ‘over the top’ by suspending paceman Ollie Robinson over historical racist and sexist tweets, culture and sports secretary Oliver Dowden said on Monday.

He urged the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to ‘think again’ over the sanction for the 27-year-old.

Robinson — who impressed with ball and bat in his debut Test against New Zealand, which finished in a draw on Sunday — has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of an investigation following tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013.

“Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong,” Dowden said. “They are also a decade old and written by a teenager.

“The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.”

The paceman led England’s attack with 4-75 in the first innings of the first Test at Lord’s and followed up with 3-26 in the second innings while also making a useful 42 with the bat.

Robinson, in a statement issued after play on Wednesday, said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” by the posts.

“I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist,” he added.

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