Second England cricketer investigated over old 'offensive' tweet

8 June 2021, 06:24 | Updated: 8 June 2021, 13:04

A second England cricketer is being investigated following claims of a historical offensive tweet
A second England cricketer is being investigated following claims of a historical offensive tweet. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A second England cricketer is being investigated over a historical "offensive" tweet, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said.

It comes just hours after debutant Ollie Robinson was suspended from international cricket while an investigation into social media posts he sent in 2012-13 is carried out.

The new alleged offence was unearthed by Wisden.com - an annual cricket publication - which published the contents of the tweet but concealed the person's identity as they were under the age of 16 at the time.

A spokesperson for the ECB said in a statement: "It has been brought to our attention that an England player has posted historic offensive material on their social media account.

"We are looking into it and will make a further comment in due course."

Read more: Ollie Robinson's suspension 'over the top', culture secretary says

Watch: Robinson has been 'hung out to dry' over 'pointless' suspension, caller says

On Monday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said English cricket's governing body had gone "over the top" by suspending Robinson for tweets posted nearly 10 years ago.

The bowler was dropped from the squad for the second Test against New Zealand, due to begin on Thursday at Edgbaston.

He will remain suspended until the outcome of the disciplinary investigation into his tweets is decided.

The official statement from England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed Robinson would leave the England camp immediately and return to Sussex.

Having only been 18 and 19 when he shared the tweets, Mr Dowden said the board should rethink their decision.

Read more: Cricketer Ollie Robinson apologises for racist and sexist tweets

Watch: 'I used to be racist now I'm not': Caller opens up in reaction to Robinson

Boris Johnson backed his colleague, with the the prime minister's official spokesman saying he is "supportive" of the culture secretary's comments.

Robinson issued an apology in a statement, saying the comments were "thoughtless and irresponsible" and that he had since "matured as a person".

However, former England captain Michael Vaughan said the ECB dealt with the matter "correctly".

The current England captain Joe Root said: "In regards to the stuff that’s happened off the field, it’s not acceptable within our game. We all know that.

"[Robinson] addressed the dressing room straight away. He obviously spoke to you guys and other media outlets straight away, fronted up to it.

"He showed a lot of remorse from that point onwards. You can see it’s very genuine from how he’s been around the group and the team."

Shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: "It is right that the ECB takes the action that they think is necessary and appropriate to tackle racism and other forms of discrimination in their sport.

"They should not be criticised for doing so by the Secretary of State."

Robinson, 27, said in a statement: "On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public.

"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.

"I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable.

“Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets."