‘Over the top’ to suspend Ollie Robinson over racist and sexist tweets, says culture secretary

Ollie Robinson looks on

A cabinet minister has called for Ollie Robinson to be reinstated in the England cricket squad, accusing the game’s authorities of going “over the top” by suspending him over decade-old tweets.

Robinson, 27, was dropped from international cricket pending an investigation into allegedly sexist and racist messages sent when he was a teenager.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden today said that the pace bowler’s tweets were “offensive and wrong”.

But he added: “They are also a decade old and written by a teenager.

“The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised. The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.”

The posts, from 2012 and 2013, were revealed while he was making his England debut during the drawn first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.

He was dropped from the squad for the second Test, which begins on Thursday at Edgbaston.

The tweets, posted when Robinson was aged 18 and 19, came to light on Wednesday afternoon, while he was on the field.

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After play, he apologised, saying he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed”.

“I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today,” he said. “I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist.”

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