Nasser Hussain, Michael Holding support Ollie Robinson’s suspension
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is being criticised for suspending Ollie Robinson from all international cricket. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the country's culture and sports secretary Oliver Dowden found the move “over the top”. But there are individuals, widely revered in cricketing circles, that find the suspension justified.
Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding has backed ECB’s decision, but also believes the cricketer must get another chance if investigations prove he did not repeat his actions beyond that time.
“It was eight, nine years ago. Can the ECB then find out please, if beyond that time, Robinson has kept on behaving like that, saying things like that, tweeting things like that?” Holding told Sky Sports News.
“If he has done something like that nine years ago, and since then he has learnt and he has done nothing like that and he has changed his ways in recent years, then I don't think you should come down too hard on him,” the West Indies legend added.
Robinson was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), pending an investigation, after his racist and sexist tweets in 2012 and 2013 emerged on social media on the day he made his Test debut.
The 27-year-old found support from his teammates who said they have accepted his apology on the issue. Holding also offered a sympathetic view on the matter but backed the ECB’s move to suspend him.
Forgive those who have made mistakes, says Nasser Hussain
Former England captain Nasser Hussain, who is a popular name in the commentary box these days, has also opened up on the matter. In his column for The Daily Mail, Hussain wrote, “In Robinson’s case these comments were made when he was 18 and 19 and, while that is no excuse, I still believe what I thought when this all first emerged. That we are part of a very harsh society if we can’t forgive teenagers making mistakes. Indeed, forgive anyone making a mistake who is willing to learn and change their ways.”
Hussain believes people must let bygones be bygones. “There has to be a degree of tolerance in a civilised society and an understanding that people make mistakes. What is the point of trying to create change if you don’t allow people the opportunity to change? We also have to remember the ECB have a massive duty of care to their players. The biggest week of Robinson’s life was torn apart and annihilated. It didn’t matter how well he played, everything was about something he did eight or nine years ago,” he wrote.
Buttler, Morgan under investigation
After Ollie Robinson, two more cricketers have been caught on the wrong side of the fence. England’s white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler are currently under investigation by the country’s cricket board after their alleged racist tweets, mocking Indians, surfaced on social media.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has promised “relevant and appropriate action”, saying each case will be considered on an individual basis.
The posts, in which Buttler and Morgan used the word “sir” to mock the Indians, started doing the rounds on social media after the ECB suspended pacer Ollie Robinson for some of his offensive tweets dating back to 2012-13.
“Screenshots have also been shared of a message by Buttler in which he says ‘I always reply sir no1 else like me like you like me’ and, separately, Morgan includes Buttler in a message which says, ‘Sir you're my favourite batsman’," according to a report in the Telegraph.co.uk.