Ollie Robinson cleared to play for England after tweet fiasco
In what comes as a big relief for young seamer Ollie Robinson, he was on Saturday cleared to play cricket immediately after a Cricket Discipline Commission banned him for eight matches – five of them deferred for two years and three already served – announced the England and Wales Cricket Board. Robinson, however, was fined £3,200 ($4,400).
The 27-year-old, who made an impressive debut in the first Test against New Zealand last month, found himself in hot soup after his ‘discriminatory’ tweets from 2013-14 resurfaced on social media, prompting ECB to launch an investigation.
“As regards the three matches which are the subject of immediate suspension, the Panel has taken into account the suspension imposed by the England Team from the second LV= Insurance Men’s Test against New Zealand, together with two of the Vitality Blast T20 matches from which Robinson voluntarily withdrew himself from selection for Sussex CCC due to the impact of these proceedings.
“Robinson is therefore free to play cricket immediately,” read the statement.
The panel considered a number of factors before coming to the conclusion.
“The Panel took into account a number of factors including the nature and content of the tweets, the breadth of their discrimination, their widespread dissemination in the media and the magnitude of the audience to whom they became available.
The Panel also considered there was significant mitigation, including the time that had elapsed since the tweets were posted, and a number of personal references which demonstrated that Robinson, who chose to address the Panel, is a very different person to the one who sent the tweets. It also took account of his remorse, admissions and cooperation as well as the huge impact which the revelation of these tweets and its consequences have had upon him and his family,” The statement said.
The ECB accepted the panel’s decision and also added that Robinson will be available for selection.
“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.
“Given he has served the suspension handed down by the CDC, he will now be available for selection for England again,” ECB said.
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.”