Ollie Robinson to take 'short break' from cricket

England cricketer Ollie Robinson to take ‘short break’ from cricket after the ECB suspended him over historic racist and sexist tweets – with his county insisting his mental wellbeing is their priority

  • Ollie Robinson to miss two Vitality Blast matches for the Sussex Sharks 
  • It follows the Twitter storm that saw historic racist and sexist posts resurface
  • The ECB suspended Robinson from England duty pending an investigation
  • He was still eligible to play for his country but has decided to take a ‘short break’
  • Sussex said they would continue to support him with mental health the priority 

Ollie Robinson will take a ‘short break’ from cricket in the wake of the furore over racist and sexist tweets he posted when a teenager resurfaced during his Test debut for England.

The 27-year-old bowler will sit out two Vitality Blast fixtures for the Sussex Sharks this week to spend time with his family.

Robinson was suspended by the ECB pending an investigation into the offensive posts from eight and nine years ago.

He was therefore not selected for England’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston, which got underway on Thursday. 

Ollie Robinson will take a ‘short break’ from cricket after the Twitter controversy that overshadowed his Test debut for England last week

Robinson (left) apologised privately to his team-mates and publicly after the tweets emerged

The Sussex bowler enjoyed a dream England debut on the field in last week’s first Test against New Zealand but that was completely overshadowed by the emergence of racist and sexist tweets he posted as a teenager.

The tweets, from a decade ago, were published on the first day of Robinson’s debut Test and he apologised publicly and privately to his team-mates for his offensive words.

In one, he wrote: ‘My new Muslim friend is the bomb’ while another said, ‘Not going to lie a lot of girls need to learn the art of class! #getsome.’

His county described the posts as ‘completely unacceptable’ but are supporting Robinson by taking him out the spotlight for their next two Twenty20 matches. 

Sussex said his mental wellbeing is their top priority and they will remain in ‘close contact’ with the bowler as he spends time with his family.  

Robinson’s tweets emerged after day one of the first Test against New Zealand last week

It’s not clear at the moment when Robinson will return to action for Sussex – his suspension only applies to international cricket – but they also have T20 Blast games on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week. 

A statement released by Sussex on Thursday afternoon read: ‘Player and staff welfare – including mental health and wellbeing – is a priority for the club and, as such, Sussex Cricket fully supports Ollie in his decision. 

‘When he is ready to return, Ollie will be welcomed back to the club, where discussions with the remainder of the squad over the last week have made clear that he retains the support of all his Sussex teammates. 

‘We remain in close contact with Ollie from a welfare perspective and will issue further updates on his availability at the relevant times.

‘Another of Sussex Cricket’s priorities is making cricket a game for everyone in our community. 

‘Ollie’s tweets were completely unacceptable, and their content is totally at odds with our stated ambition to inspire people from every background in our county to say, ‘I feel part of Sussex Cricket’.

Robinson celebrates taking a wicket for Sussex in the County Championship back in April

‘Ollie is a very different man from the one that wrote those tweets and has clearly learned much in the intervening years. He has made clear the shame, embarrassment, and remorse he feels for the discriminatory comments he made. 

‘As a result of his actions, Ollie has had the opportunity to represent his country suspended, is at the centre of intense public and media scrutiny and faces the possibility of further disciplinary action from the ECB. 

‘Sussex Cricket will not be adding to these significant penalties. The club will turn its attention to supporting Ollie in his commitment to continue to educate himself in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion.

‘Ollie has more to learn in this area. We all do. We all have a responsibility to improve and to make cricket a game for everybody.

‘This is why, last year, we created an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee of the Board of Sussex Cricket to devise a plan in this area. 

Robinson appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Ross Taylor at Lord’s in the first Test

‘Among the initial actions agreed are further training for all our staff, our Board and our Trustees, the introduction of diversity champions for specific protected characteristics, Urban Cricket Plans to maximise engagement with the diverse communities in Sussex’s biggest towns and cities, a commitment to challenge non-inclusive behaviours in our organisation and the introduction of regular consultation with our employees, customers, volunteers, officials and players to make sure we know exactly where we can improve.

‘Everyone at the club is committed to furthering our understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion through education. This will be an ongoing focus for us and one that will take time. 

‘As evident in society as a whole, there are no quick fixes to address these deep-rooted issues. 

‘Ollie, as well as everyone else at Sussex Cricket, will be involved in our efforts to make sure we as an organisation build on the work we have already done and continue to get better.’

England tweet storm 

Ollie Robinson

The Sussex bowler enjoyed a dream England debut on the field in last week’s first Test against New Zealand but that was completely overshadowed by the emergence of racist and sexist tweets he posted as a teenager.

The tweets, from a decade ago, were published on the first day of Robinson’s debut Test and he apologised publicly and privately to his team-mates for his offensive words.

In one, he wrote: ‘My new Muslim friend is the bomb’ while another said, ‘Not going to lie a lot of girls need to learn the art of class! #getsome.’

Robinson has been suspended by the ECB pending an investigation into the offensive words.

Ollie Robinson was brilliant on debut at Lord’s but it was overshadowed by the emergence of racist and sexist tweets he published as a teenager

James Anderson

A homophobic post in which England’s legendary bowler compared Stuart Broad’s hairstyle to a ’15 year old lesbian’ back in February 2010 has emerged.

Addressing the historic tweet, Anderson said: ‘For me it’s 10-11 years ago, I’ve certainly changed as a person. And I think that’s the difficulty, things do change, you do make mistakes.’

Anderson, 38, is set to become England’s most capped Test cricketer when he plays in Thursday’s second Test with New Zealand at Edgbaston.

The emergence of Jimmy Anderson’s tweets from 10 years ago came on the eve of the second Test in Birmingham

Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler

England’s 50-over World Cup winning heroes from 2019 were exposed by a website in India for mocking Indian English.

Screen grabs of Buttler saying ‘Well done on double 100 much beauty batting you are on fire sir,’ to Alex Hales from August 2017, and messages from Morgan and Brendon McCullum to Buttler the following May, the former commenting ‘Sir you’re my favourite batsman’ and McCullum adding ‘Sir, you play very good Opening batting,’ also came to light.

Those posts have been deleted in recent days.

Unnamed England player

Another racist post, made public by website Wisden.com, was unearthed earlier this week. The player was 15 when it was written.

It read: ‘Your [sic] going out with a asian’ followed by an offensive emoji and three racist hashtags.

Sportsmail knows the identity of the individual but is not revealing it as he was a minor at the time it was posted. 

Dom Bess and Rory Burns

Both players have deleted their Twitter accounts in recent days amid the social media storm.

 

 

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