ECB investigating second England player for past discriminatory tweets

The England and Wales Cricket Board is looking into claims a second England player posted “historic offensive material”, just a day after the governing body suspended seamer Ollie Robinson for past racist and sexist tweets. has unearthed a tweet, publishing its content but concealing the alleged England cricketer’s identity because he was under the age of 16 at the time.

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.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier on Monday agreed with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden’s assessment that the suspension of Robinson from all international cricket was “over the top”.

Robinson, 27, issued an apology for social media posts he wrote in 2012 and 2013, when he was in his late teens, that came to light and were shared online on the day he made his Test bow against New Zealand at Lord’s last week.

He has been suspended pending a disciplinary investigation by the ECB, which drew a surprising rebuke from Secretary of State Dowden, who waded into the matter on Monday morning.

While Dowden acknowledged Robinson’s tweets were “offensive and wrong”, he added they “are also a decade old and written by a teenager”.

Mr Dowden said: “The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.”

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said afterwards: “As Oliver Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago, written by someone as a teenager, and for which they have rightly apologised.”

The ECB declined to comment when asked about Dowden’s remarks.

While Robinson said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of his past tweets, he has been stood down from the second and final Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston, which gets under way on Thursday.

Robinson may have made an impact on the field last week, taking seven wickets and contributing an important 42 runs with the bat, but he was given no assurances about his England future after the probe has concluded.

“The investigation will happen and any decisions will be made after that,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood, speaking after the drawn first Test against the Black Caps.

“Let’s see what comes of it first. There’ll be an investigation and we’ll see after that.

“What should have been one of the greatest days of Ollie’s career didn’t end well for him. It was disappointing for the group. It was a stark reminder for us all of the responsibilities that we hold in the position that we are in.

“There is absolutely no place in this game for any form of discrimination whatsoever. He showed a lot of remorse, he apologised publicly, he apologised to the dressing room. I think it’s been a really big learning curve for him.

“The big thing for us all is education. We are all striving to be better, none of us are perfect, and we all need to make sure we are learning all the time. We can make sure the world is a better place.”

Robinson was informed about his historical tweets resurfacing when he came off the field at the end of play on Wednesday by Silverwood, who admitted England had to temporarily park the issue to focus on the rest of the Test.

“He was obviously devastated, embarrassed and very remorseful,” said Silverwood. “He was very quick to take on board what had happened. He had to face up to this.

“It’s not what we wanted, that’s for sure. Equally we had to get on with the Test match. That isn’t to say we dismissed it whatsoever. We will seek the education around that in order to try to better ourselves.”

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