Suspended England pacer Ollie Robinson will be available for selection in the five-match Test series against India. Robinson was banned from playing after some of his historical offensive tweets went viral on social media during the first Test between England and New Zealand. Cricket Discipline Commission, an independent panel that adjudicates on alleged breaches of ECB rules, has slapped an eight-match ban on the pacer. However, five of those are suspended for two years while Ollie has already served a three-match ban. Also a fine of £3,200 has been imposed on him. The terms of the suspension meant that ECB can consider Robinson for the India series.
The panel took into account Ollie’s suspension from the second Test against New Zealand, as well as Robinson’s decision to pull out of T20 Blast fixtures for Sussex.
Speaking about the decision, 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 apologize 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.
“Whilst I want to move on, I do want to use my experience to help others in the future through working with the PCA.”
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison added: “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.
“We stand against discrimination of all forms and will continue working to ensure cricket is a welcoming and inclusive sport for all.”
The decision was made after considering several factors such as 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. Also, Robinson’s age at the time of tweets was taken into account and it was believed that the pacer has evolved a lot as a person since then. The panel was chaired by Mark Milliken-Smith QC. The other two members were Claire Taylor and Anurag Singh.
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