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7 June 2021
The suspension of Ollie Robinson for his almost a decade-old tweets by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has not gone unnoticed in the United Kingdom government sphere.
Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has lambasted the Robinson as an ‘over the top’ decision. Dowden, however, conceded that Robinson’s tweets were ‘offensive and wrong’ but also recognised him being a teenager at the time he made those posts public for which he has already apologised.
He asked the ECB to reconsider the international ban imposed on Robinson after the completion of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s in which the Sussex pacer picked up seven wickets across two innings.
“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 wrote on his Twitter timeline.
The support poured in from the top as well when Bris Johnson, the United Kingdom Prime Minister's spokesperson toed the line of Dowden. He said, "Prime Minister Johnson's official spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister is supportive of the comments from Oliver Dowden that he made via tweet this morning. As Oliver Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago written by someone as a teenager, for which they've rightly apologised."
Robinson has also found support in India’s premier bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, who too, has taken to his Twitter account to feel sorry for the pacer who made a dream debut at Lord’s. He also reminded his followers of the repercussions one might have to deal with in this ‘social media generation.’
Robinson’s tweets started to explode on Twitter on the first day of the Test as Robinson was handed his England cap. He was brilliant with the ball and picked up big wickets of Tom Latham and Ross Taylor before he caught the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Later after the end of the day’s play, he had issued an apology for what he had described as ‘thoughtless’ tweets.