London, June 7 (IANS) Pace bowler Ollie Robinson, who has been suspended by England for his old racist and sexist tweets, has got support from a top government official as well as India off-spinner R Ashwin.
Oliver Dowden, culture and sports secretary of United Kingdom, called England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) decision to ban Robinson from international cricket ‘over the top’ while Ashwin said he felt sorry for Robinson who made an impressive start to his career.
“Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong. They are also a decade old and written by a teenager,” Dowden was quoted as saying by The Times, London.
Robinson, 27, was between his late teens and 20 when he tweeted comments mocking Blacks, East Asians, Muslims and women, from 2012 to 2014.
The right-arm pacer was suspended by ECB from international cricket after the end of the first Test on Sunday and will return to his county Sussex, despite having picked seven wickets on his Test debut at Lord’s.
“The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again,” added Dowden.
Ashwin took to twitter to offer support to Robinson and said that social media generation needs to be careful.
“I can understand the negative sentiments towards what #OllieRobinson did years ago, but I do feel genuinely sorry for him being suspended after an impressive start to his test career. This suspension is a strong indication of what the future holds in this social media Gen,” tweeted Ashwin.
Earlier, the ECB had issued a statement saying Robinson wouldn’t play in the second Test as he has been suspended from international cricket.
“England and Sussex bowler Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historic tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013,” said the statement from ECB.
“From a performance point of view, on the field, he has had an exceptional debut. With regards to the stuff that has happened off the field, it is not acceptable within our game — we all know that,” said England skipper Joe Root after the first Test.
“He has dealt with a huge array of emotions over this last week and he has got to learn some hard lessons.”