MARTYN MOXON last night revealed that Yorkshire sacked pace bowler Oliver Robinson for three serious breaches of discipline over a nine-month period, along with several lesser offences.
Robinson, the 20-year-old son of England assistant coach Paul Farbrace’s partner, Sandra, was axed yesterday after a succession of incidents that led to the club’s coaching and support staff losing faith in him.
Director of cricket Moxon declined to give details of those incidents, which the club described only as “a number of unprofessional actions” in a short statement. However, The Yorkshire Post understands they relate to areas such as timekeeping and trust, with the club eventually losing patience with the promising all-rounder.
“I’m not going to go into details of what the actions have been, but what I will say is that it’s been spread over a period of pretty much nine months from the start of training in November through to now,” said Moxon.
“There’s been three serious acts of misconduct, I would say, and then a string of less major incidents which in themselves wouldn’t be too serious.
“But when they are all added together cumulatively, it just got to a point where myself and the support staff have had enough really.
“It’s such a shame, and I’m sad that we’re losing potentially a very good cricketer because on the field he’s put in some really good performances.
“It’s disappointing from our point of view that we’ve not been able to mould him into what we feel you need to be to be a professional cricketer.”
A right-hand batsman and right-arm pace bowler, Robinson performed well for Yorkshire in T20 this year.
He took six wickets in seven group games at 27.00 and bowled some excellent overs at the death of innings.
The decision to sack him emphasises not only the frustration felt by a club run by two fair-minded men in Moxon and first-team boss Jason Gillespie, but also the extent of the problem given Yorkshire’s good relationship with Farbrace, their former second XI coach.
And with Robinson having performed well on the pitch, Yorkshire felt they had to say something to explain to their supporters why he has gone.
“As a support staff, it ultimately came down to us feeling that things had gone on for too long and we could no longer allow it to keep happening,” added Moxon. “We gave the player a chance, and we saw what we felt was some ability after he bowled in the nets on our pre-season tour of Barbados the other year. I feel disappointed that he’s not grasped that chance, and this decision has not been taken lightly.”
Born in Margate, Robinson progressed through the Kent system before impressing with Leicestershire’s second team in the early stages of 2013.
He was offered a trial with Yorkshire and played three first team matches towards the back end of the summer in the Yorkshire Bank 40.
Robinson did well in the second team, finishing second in Yorkshire’s Second XI Championship batting averages with 329 runs at 36.55 and also second in the bowling averages with 15 wickets at 18.26. In the game against Warwickshire at Coventry in early August, he hit 90 not out and 30 not out and took 3-14 and 2-7.
Given his strong T20 showings this year, Robinson might have been one of those selected to face Sri Lanka A in a 50-over match at Headingley today (10.30am). The club are fielding a mix of first and second team players with Alex Lees leading the side as Andrew Gale, Tim Bresnan, Jack Brooks and Steve Patterson take a break.
Moin Ashraf, the 22-year-old pace bowler, will have a chance to press his first team claims against a side who will take on England Lions and New Zealand A in a tri-series starting next week.
Yorkshire (from): Lees (captain), Lyth, Hodgson, Leaning, Rashid, Hodd, Gibson, Wainman, Coad, Ashraf, Callis, Waite.