Ollie Robinson: England bowler can resume playing cricket after serving suspension over 'offensive tweets'

·3-min read

England and Sussex bowler Ollie Robinson can resume playing cricket after he was deemed to have served a suspension over a "number of offensive tweets" he sent between 2012 and 2014, the Cricket Discipline Commission has announced.

The 27-year-old, who made his Test debut for England at Lords last month, was handed an eight-match ban by the commission, five of which were suspended for two years.

He has already missed three matches as part of the investigation, and so can now continue playing.

He was also fined £3,200.

Robinson had admitted breaching two ECB directives in relation to a number of offensive tweets posted when he was aged between 18 and 20.

The tweets came to light on 2 June, the opening day of Robinson's first Test match for England.

He withdrew himself from selection for Sussex following the suspension imposed by the England team for the second Test against New Zealand.

According to a statement, the panel considered significant mitigation, including the time that had elapsed since the tweets were posted, and a number of personal references to show how Robinson is a different person now than when the tweets were sent.

It was also recommended that Robinson should take part in "all training programmes in both the use of social media and in respect of anti-discrimination as directed by the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) over the next two years".

Following the announcement by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC), Robinson said: "I fully accept the CDC's decision.

"As I have said previously, I am incredibly embarrassed and ashamed about the tweets I posted many years ago and apologise unreservedly for their contents.

"I am deeply sorry for the hurt I caused to anyone who read those tweets and in particular to those people to whom the messages caused offence.

"This has been the most difficult time in my professional career for both my family and myself.

"Whilst I want to move on, I do want to use my experience to help others in the future through working with the PCA."

Tom Harrison, ECB's chief executive officer, said: "We accept the decisions made by the Cricket Discipline Commission and the sanctions they have imposed.

"Ollie has acknowledged that, whilst published a long time ago when he was a young man, these historic tweets were unacceptable.

"He has engaged fully in the disciplinary process, admitted the charges, has received his sanction from the CDC and will participate in training and use his experiences to help others.

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"Given he has served the suspension handed down by the CDC, he will now be available for selection for England again.

"We stand against discrimination of all forms, and will continue working to ensure cricket is a welcoming and inclusive sport for all."

After Robinson's disparaging remarks about Asian people and women in the tweets resurfaced, the cricketer apologised "unreservedly" and said "I deeply regret my actions".

He added that he had "worked hard" to turn his life around "over the past few years" and had "considerably matured as an adult".

Shortly after Robinson's suspension, England Test captain Joe Root said: "With regards to the stuff that has happened off the field, it's not acceptable within our game - we all know that."

However, both prime minister Boris Johnson and culture secretary Oliver Dowden were widely criticised after describing the ECB's decision at the time as "over the top".

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