“ECB has gone over the top”: Ollie Robinson’s suspension from international cricket for old tweets evokes angry reactions from British PM, senior minister


The decision to suspend cricketer Ollie Robinson for his ‘historic tweets’ pending the outcome of the inquiry by the England and Wales Cricket Board has snowballed into a full-blown controversy. This was after a senior cabinet colleague of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson publicly condemned the ECB for ‘going over the top’ in punishing a young cricketer.

British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who also holds the portfolio for media and sports, tweeted slamming the ECB. He wrote, “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.”

Dowden received support from Johnson, who too felt that Robinson should not have been suspended especially when he had apologised for his tweets, posted in 2012 and 2013. “The PM is supportive of Oliver Dowden’s comments. As Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago written by someone as a teenager and for which they’ve rightly apologised,” a spokesperson for Johnson was quoted by the BBC.

The ECB on Sunday announced Robinson’s suspension from all forms of international cricket pending the outcome of the disciplinary committee. The cricketer, who finished with a seven-wicket haul in the first Test against New Zealand before scoring 42 crucial runs, was also told to leave the England camp and return to his county immediately.

The old tweets, racist and sexist in nature, had surfaced during the first Test prompting Robinson to issue a public apology. The 27-year-old cricketer had denied being a ‘racist.’