A Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) Panel on Saturday announced its decision in relation to two charges brought against pacer Ollie Robinson.
Robinson had previously admitted breaching ECB Directives 3.3 and 3.4 in relation to a number of offensive tweets which were posted between 2012 and 2014 when he was aged between 18 and 20. The tweets came to light on June 2, which was also the day he made his Test debut for England.
Following a hearing on June 30, the Panel decided that Robinson should be suspended from playing cricket for eight matches, five of which will be suspended for two years.
“As regards the three matches which are the subject of immediate suspension, the Panel has taken into account the suspension imposed by the England Team from the second Test against New Zealand, together with two of the Vitality Blast T20 matches from which Robinson voluntarily withdrew himself from selection for Sussex CCC due to the impact of these proceedings. Robinson is, therefore, free to play cricket immediately,” ECB said in an official statement.
In coming to its decision, the Panel took into account a number of factors including the nature and content of the tweets, the breadth of their discrimination, their widespread dissemination in the media, and the magnitude of the audience to whom they became available.
The Panel also considered there was significant mitigation, including the time that had elapsed since the tweets were posted, and a number of personal references which demonstrated that Robinson, who chose to address the Panel, is a very different person to the one who sent the tweets. It also took account of his remorse, admissions, and cooperation as well as the huge impact which the revelation of these tweets and its consequences have had upon him and his family. Robinson was also fined £3,200.
The Panel was chaired by Mark Milliken-Smith QC. The other two members were Claire Taylor and Anurag Singh.
Talking about this decision, Robinson said: “I fully accept the CDC’s decision. As I have said previously, I am incredibly embarrassed and ashamed about the tweets I posted many years ago and apologise unreservedly for their contents.”
“I am deeply sorry for the hurt I caused to anyone who read those tweets and in particular to those people to whom the messages caused offence. This has been the most difficult time in my professional career for both my family and myself. Whilst I want to move on, I do want to use my experience to help others in the future through working with the PCA,” he added.