Ollie Robinson has been axed from the England Test team in response to the ‘unacceptable’ racist and sexist tweets he sent as an 18-year-old.
Robinson will not feature in the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston on Thursday after being suspended from all international cricket despite a promising on-field performance on his debut.
The 27-year-old has instead left the England bubble and returned to Sussex where he can play in the T20 Blast while an investigation into the circumstances around those tweets is conducted, with the possibility of further sanctions at the end of it.
“Ollie’s learned a hard lesson,” said skipper Joe Root. “It’s unacceptable what he’s done and I couldn’t believe them personally. I didn’t really know how to take it on the surface.
“He has made a huge mistake. He’s very remorseful, but it’s a lesson for everyone that the continued education needs to carry forward.
“He’s fronted up to the dressing room and the world. I think the most important thing is that Ollie is a part of this dressing room and we had to support him.
“Give him an opportunity to learn and to understand that he has to do better.”
Root’s side left Lord’s with a creditable draw against the Kiwis but the situation around Robinson has tarnished the start of an international summer in which England’s players hoped to use their positions in a positive anti-discriminatory way.
What began with t-shirts worn by all players to spread that message has finished with one of them having to leave the squad due to their own conflicting message.
“We’re not saying the team is perfect,” added Root. “But we’re always trying to improve. As a game we’ve got to be better to make the game as inclusive as possible.
“I think it’s a great lesson for everyone within our game that we can all do more, and we all have to keep looking to educate ourselves and try to better the environment for everyone.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable within our wonderful sport. It starts with us players at the top of the game. We had that moment of unity and we’re doing a lot of work behind that. We want to make a big change in the game, and make our game more inclusive, more diverse, and it’s important that we continue to do that.”