Oliver Edward Robinson popularly called Ollie Robinson made news for all kinds of reasons in the last couple of weeks. He made his Test debut against New Zealand in the first Test. Robinson picked up 7 wickets on his debut. He seemed cut out for Test cricket. Robinson ran in hard and troubled all the Kiwi batsmen. England team and fans were happy with Robinson’s induction into the side. But who knew what lied in store for Robinson and for England at the end of the match. Here is the Ollie Robinson profile and cricket career.
Ollie Robinson: Profile And Cricket Career
The tall young Robinson made his first-class debut for Sussex in 2015. He bowled right-arm fast and was a right-handed batsman. Robinson coming into bat at number 9 scored a century on debut. It was for the first time in 95 years that a Sussex player had scored a century on debut.
Robinson’s journey as a cricketer:
Robinson had a decent first-class record until 2017. It was only in 2018 when under the tutelage of new Sussex coach, Jason Gillespie, he found a second wind. He picked up 74 wickets in division two. Robinson had started making all the right noises. He continued his good form in 2019 picking up 63 wickets. Robinson came in for national selectors’ radar post his performance against Australia A. He picked up 7 wickets in a game that saw England’s lions defeat Australia A convincingly. Robinson was drafted into England’s large squad. An England call-up wasn’t far away.
The England team hell-bent on the rotation of players for Tests welcomed Robinson into the setup. He was handed the England cap for the New Zealand series in the first Test. Robinson made a brilliant debut taking 7 wickets but the glory didn’t last long.
The downfall: Robinson’s past tweets caught up with him
A young Robinson had tweeted few unsavory comments regarding to race and religion back in 2012. He posted, “My new Muslim friend is the bomb”. In another: “I wonder if Asian people put smileys like this ¦) #racist”, while a third tweet quipped: “Guy next to me on the train definitely has Ebola.” The screenshots of these tweets went viral on the day of his debut. Robinson apologised profusely for his past dated tweets.
He tweeted a post saying, “On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public,” Robinson said in a statement released shortly after stumps on the opening day of the Lord’s Test. “I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist, and deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks…”
ECB’s decision and a statement pertaining to the issue:
ECB put out a statement, saying: “England and Sussex bowler Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historic tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013. He will not be available for selection for the second Test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday 10 June. Robinson will leave the England camp immediately and return to his county.”
The reactions that followed:
England’s Secretary of State for digital, culture, media, and sport, Oliver Dowden acknowledged that what Robinson did was wrong back then. But he observed that the tweets were almost posted 10 years ago. It wasn’t right to criticise or suspend a player based on their past misdoing. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, too backed Dowden’s statement. A tweet from the PM’s spokesperson confirmed the same. It stated, “Yes. The Prime Minister is supportive of the comments from Oliver Dowden that he made via a tweet this morning. As Oliver Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago, written by someone as a teenager and for which they have rightly apologised.”
England’s captain too had his say:
Root spoke, “In regard to the stuff that’s happened off the field, it’s not acceptable within our game. We all know that. He (Robinson) addressed the dressing-room straightaway. He obviously spoke to you guys (reporters) and other media outlets straightaway, fronted up to it. Robinson 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 future for Robinson:
The future doesn’t look bright for promising Robinson. If not for this incident, he would have walked into the England XI. But his indefinite international cricket ban has put a huge question mark on his future. If the followers of English cricket know that even if Robinson’s ban is lifted, he might not be welcomed into the England setup again.