Home Sports News Can England close the lid of a Robinson-sized can of worms?

Can England close the lid of a Robinson-sized can of worms?


England Summer Cricket 2021 holds a lot of hope.

For the first time in a year, viewers are allowed to watch Test cricket. There’s a Test series against New Zealand and India, the World Test Championship final, with cricket white balls whipping up for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

On paper, this should be as good a summer as the summer of 2019, which saw the ODI World Cup and an impressive streak of Ashes.

Unfortunately, there is one issue that threatens to derail cricket – players’ comments on social media.

Debut Olly Robinson was found to have some of the tweets considered abusive when he was 18 or 19 years old. As a result, the English Cricket Board (ECB) suspended him from international cricket, pending the outcome of his investigation.

All kinds of people have piled on this decision, including the British Prime Minister and Minister for Sports and Culture, Oliver Dowden. Many former players had an opinion, as did James Anderson, who, among other things, made the following comments:

The language and the things that were talked about (in the letters) are clearly not acceptable.

“He[Robinson]stood in front of the group and apologized, and you can see how sincere he was and how upset he was.

“As a group, we appreciate that he is a different person now. He has done a lot of maturing and growing since then and has had the full support of the team.”

Those are great words from a fast footballer in England – except now it appears he too was guilty of a similar type of message.

Not only was Anderson allegedly making inappropriate comments on social forums, if the media reports are correct, it also appears that Josh Butler and Ewen Morgan did as well. Furthermore, it is clear that the ECB is investigating a racist tweet written by a current player when he was 15 years old.

Keep in mind that all of these cases have surfaced in the past week. It begs the obvious question: How many England players have done something similar?

If there are five players who posted inappropriate comments, does the ECB assume that is the case, or are they conducting an investigation of all contracted players’ social media accounts?

Ole Robinson was suspended by the European Central Bank, so did the Council take the same action for others, such as Anderson, who posted comments deemed offensive?

Is Jimmy Anderson’s situation much more dangerous, given that he’s such a high-profile member of the team, clearly knowing what’s acceptable and what’s not, yet being caught in similar circumstances to Robinson?

Olly Robinson is under fire for offensive tweets. (Photo by Sean Pottrell/Getty Images)

It would also be wrong for the rest of the cricketers in the world to feel more sacred than you.

Just as other players committed crimes similar to those landed Steve Smith and his teammates. In the hot waters of 2018, it is inevitable that there will be similar instances of inappropriate messaging from cricketers playing for other nations. For example, Brendon McCullum has also been linked to the type of tweets mentioned above.

If the International Cricket Council (ICB) is fair about cleaning up this aspect of the game, what steps will they take? It will also be interesting to know what resistance they encounter from players and boards, if they decide to clean the house.

If the ICB leaves it up to each council to take the action it deems appropriate, what is their possible response, what happens if the council does nothing? I don’t think a lot of councils want to investigate because I think they are afraid of what they are likely to find out.

We all know the sensitivities around racism and sexism, and it’s clear that the ECB is on board, given the shirts the players wore before the first test against New Zealand.

One inexperienced Test player has been accused of violating standards of expected behaviour, which is bad enough, but then featuring top players and England’s cricket captain makes such an unimaginable mess.

It will take Solomon’s wisdom to find a solution acceptable to all parties involved. Unfortunately, I don’t think such a person exists, certainly not on any cricket board.

I have no idea how to solve this situation.

It is a huge issue that needs to be addressed but I hope it is managed in conjunction with the cricket matches and not instead of them.


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