England fast bowler Ollie Robinson apologised on Wednesday after a series of tweets of a racist and sexist nature came to light during his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s.
The 27-year-old led England’s attack with 2-50 on the first day of the two-match series, but his performance was overshadowed as Twitter messages he had posted as a teenager resurfaced.
The tweets, dating back to 2012, left Robinson in an especially difficult position given both teams had lined up before play for a ‘Moment of Unity’ designed to show their opposition to discrimination within cricket.
“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,” Robinson said after stumps.
“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.”
England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison added Robinson would now face a disciplinary process.
“Any person reading those words, particularly a woman or person of colour, would take away an image of cricket and cricketers that is completely unacceptable,” said Harrison.
“We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature.”