England racism row: ECB suspends pacer Ollie Robinson for eight matches for controversial tweets

England racism row: ECB suspends Ollie Robinson for 8 matches, fined £3,200 but free to play in India Tour of England series
England racism row: ECB suspends Ollie Robinson for 8 matches, fined £3,200 but free to play in India Tour of England series

England racism row: England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended pacer Ollie Robinson for eight matches — domestic and international combined — and fined £3,200 for controversial tweets. ECB’s Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) Panel announced its decision in relation to two charges brought against Robinson on Saturday. However, the pacer is free to play in the Pakistan series as he has already served the suspension.

Ollie Robinson had previously admitted breaching ECB Directives 3.3 and 3.4 in relation to a number of offensive tweets which were posted between 2012 and 2014, when he was aged between 18 and 20. The tweets came to light on 2 June 2021, which was also the first day of his first Test match for England.

“Following a hearing on 30 June, the Panel decided that Robinson should be suspended from playing cricket for eight matches, five of which will be suspended for two years,” the ECB said in a statement.

Also Read: England racism row: Ollie Robinson to return to cricket pitch with Sussex second team

However, Ollie Robinson is free to play cricket and could feature in the Pakistan series as he has served the suspension in the 2nd Test against New Zealand, two T20 Blast matches. He will need to serve the next five-match suspension over the next two years.

England racism row: “Robinson voluntarily withdrew himself from selection for Sussex CCC due to the impact of these proceedings. Robinson is, therefore, free to play cricket immediately,” the ECB statement read.

“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,” Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said.

Also Read: India Tour of England: Michael Vaughan says Ollie Robinson should and will play against India’

ENG vs PAK: While England haven’t announced the squad for the Pakistan series yet, Ollie Robinson is expected to be picked. If he is not picked, he could feature in England’s five-match Test series against India at home as the Three Lions are set to rotate squad and give opportunities to newcomers.

Ollie Robinson issued an apology for his tweets. “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,” Robinson said in a statement.

“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,” he added.