England’s Ollie Robinson suspended for second Test as historical tweets investigated

Ollie Robinson will miss England’s second Test against New Zealand after being suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation into historical racist and sexist tweets.

Stood down: England bowler Ollie Robinson. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Former Yorkshire bowler Robinson, now 27, issued an apology for the posts he sent in 2012 and 2013, when he was in his late teens, which were unearthed and shared online on the day he made his Test debut against the Black Caps earlier this week.

The Sussex seamer made an impression on the field at Lord’s with seven wickets in the match but he has been dropped from the squad for the series decider against the Black Caps, which gets under way at Edgbaston on Thursday.

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Joe Root said on Sunday he “couldn’t believe” what had emerged on Wednesday and added “it’s not acceptable within our game” before an England and Wales Cricket Board statement confirmed Robinson would leave the team bubble.

Impressive: Seamer Robinsom played well in the first Test - despite the row hanging over him. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

“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,” the statement said.

“He will not be available for selection for the LV= Insurance second Test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday 10 June. Robinson will leave the England camp immediately and return to his county.”

After the first day’s play between England and New Zealand, Robinson read from a prepared statement to say he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of the offending posts.

They came to light hours after England had marked the first Test of the summer at the Home of Cricket by sharing a ‘Moment of Unity’ alongside the Kiwis before play, taking a stand against several forms of discrimination.

Robinson apologised to the media and to his team-mates and while Root believes the contrition is heartfelt, the England captain believes everyone within the game can take lessons following what has transpired.

After the drawn first Test against New Zealand, Root said: “It’s not acceptable within our game. We all know that.

“He addressed the dressing room straight away. He fronted up to it. He 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.

“And I think it’s a great lesson for everyone within our game that we can all do more.

“It starts with us players at the top of the game.

“We set out the week with that moment of unity and we’re doing a lot of work behind the cricket that we want to make big change in the game and we want to make it more inclusive, more diverse,” he added.

Asked about his immediate reaction to the Robinson tweets, Root said: “I couldn’t believe them, personally. I didn’t really know how to take it on the surface.

“I think the most important thing is Ollie is part of this dressing room and we had to support him. We had to try and do everything that we could to give him an opportunity to learn and understand he has to do better.

“We can look back about how this could have been handled better, but the fact is it shouldn’t have happened. And if we continue to keep trying to better the game right now, then in years to come this shouldn’t be an issue and moving forward this shouldn’t be something that happens within cricket.”

Robinson has a separate employment contract with Sussex so he is free to play, if selected, for the county during his international suspension.