"I do feel genuinely sorry for him"
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has reacted to the current controversy surrounding England bowler Ollie Robinson.
Robinson has made headlines recently due to making his England debut against New Zealand at Lord’s.
However, his achievement was overshadowed after some racist and sexist tweets he wrote a decade ago resurfaced.
Robinson issued a statement apologising “unreservedly” for his tweets. He said he is “ashamed” of them, and clarified that he is “not racist or sexist”.
But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspended the 27-year-old bowler on Sunday, June 6, 2021, pending an investigation.
Ravi Ashwin has now had his say on the subject and admits he feels “genuinely sorry” for Robinson as he will miss out on England’s second Test against New Zealand.
I can understand the negative sentiments towards what #OllieRobinson did years ago, but I do feel genuinely sorry for him being suspended after an impressive start to his test career. This suspension is a strong indication of what the future holds in this social media Gen.
— Mask up and take your vaccine???? (@ashwinravi99) June 7, 2021
In a tweet from Monday, June 7, 2021, Ashwin said:
“I can understand the negative sentiments towards what Ollie Robinson did years ago, but I do feel genuinely sorry for him being suspended after an impressive start to his Test career.
“This suspension is a strong indication of what the future holds in this social media Gen.”
The ECB issued a statement on Twitter confirming Ollie Robinson’s suspension, which prompted a wealth of responses.
Statement: Ollie Robinson suspended from all international cricket
— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) June 6, 2021
Some agreed with the board’s decision. One Twitter user said:
“An England player represents this country.
“Those tweets may have been eight years old, he may have been a teen (not a child though), but how can he face Ebony R-B and Mickey Holding after those came to light?
“How can they be expected to smile and shake his hand? It’s a disgrace.”
Another wrote: “Doesn’t deserve to represent the mighty England.”
However, most saw the suspension as a drastic decision, claiming that Robinson was young at the time and has now sincerely apologised.
Although Ollie Robinson’s old tweets are causing new outrage, many famous faces have spoken out to say that his punishment was harsh.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden believes that the ECB has gone ‘over the top’ by suspending Robinson.
“Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong. They are also a decade old and written by a teenager.”
“The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.”
England captain Joe Root also went into bat for Robinson and said that although his tweets were “not acceptable”, the bowler’s remorse is genuine.
Speaking after England drew the first Test against New Zealand, Root said:
“Ollie has made a huge mistake. He fronted up to the dressing room and the rest of the world, and he’s very remorseful.”
England will take on New Zealand in the second Test at Edgbaston from Thursday, June 10, 2021, with the absence of Ollie Robinson.