Suspended England pacer Ollie Robinson has decided to take a short break from cricket to spend time with family, his county side Sussex said on Thursday. Robinson was suspended from international cricket by ECB after tweets from 2012-13 emerged, where he had posted racist and sexist comments. Robinson had a good debut on the field in the first Test against New Zealand picking up seven wickets, but it was ruined by the off field events.
Robinson issued an apology as well, stressing he was not racist and sexist, and that he has learnt from the past. Robinson was a teenager when he had tweeted what he did.
“Ollie Robinson will not be part of the Sussex Sharks squad for the team’s opening two Vitality Blast fixtures against Gloucestershire and Hampshire Hawks on Friday and Saturday evenings. After a difficult week, Ollie has decided to take a short break from the game to spend time with his young family,” the club said in a statement.
“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.”
Sussex said the tweets were ‘completely unacceptable’ but added that Robinson is a different person now than what he was in the past.
“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’.
“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.”
The first Test between England and New Zealand ended in a draw.