United Kingdom

Robinson will ‘try to focus on cricket’

England seamer Ollie Robinson will “try to concentrate on cricket” after apologising for historical racist and sexist tweets, says team-mate Mark Wood.

The tweets from 2012 and 2013 emerged on Wednesday while Robinson, 27, was making his England debut at Lord’s.

He later said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed”.

“Last night was pretty tough for him and the whole team, to hear that news,” pace bowler Wood told BBC Sport.

“He’ll try to concentrate on the cricket today and get his mind fixed on what is an important morning for us.

“Mentally, if his head is in that space, he can do the business again like he did yesterday.”

Sussex seamer Robinson took two wickets as New Zealand reached 246-3 on the opening day of the two-Test series.

During the day, posts that he made when aged 18 and 19 were shared online.

Reading a prepared statement at the close of play, Robinson said: “I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist.

“I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks.”

The first day began with England sharing a ‘moment of unity’ with New Zealand, and the home side wore T-shirts carrying messages against discrimination of all kinds.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has begun an investigation into Robinson’s actions.

In a statement, the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) said it “does not condone any discriminatory behaviour, and is committed to educating members on all forms of discrimination”.

Robinson’s county, Sussex, said: “We were beyond disappointed to read these tweets when they were brought to our attention. Their content was wholly unacceptable.

“We are pleased that Ollie has apologised unreservedly and taken responsibility for a significant mistake that he made as a teenager.

“In the years since the tweets were posted, Ollie has matured hugely. The Ollie Robinson we know at Sussex is very different from the young man that sent these tweets.

“We know he recognises the severity of the situation and that he is devastated that what should have been a proud day has been overshadowed in this manner.

“We know also that Ollie will learn some very important lessons from this experience. We will be here to offer any support Ollie needs during that process.”

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