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ECB Cricket Discipline Commission announces decision on Ollie Robinson

Ollie Robinson celebrates a wicket for England
Ollie Robinson celebrates a wicket for England

A Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) Panel today announced its decision in relation to two charges brought against Ollie Robinson.

Robinson had previously admitted breaching ECB Directives 3.3 and 3.4 in relation to a number of offensive tweets which were posted between 2012 and 2014, when he was aged between 18 and 20. The tweets came to light on 2 June 2021, which was also the first day of his first Test match for England.

Following a hearing on 30 June, the Panel decided that Robinson should be suspended from playing cricket for eight matches, five of which will be suspended for two years.

As regards the three matches which are the subject of immediate suspension, the Panel has taken into account the suspension imposed by the England Team from the second LV= Insurance Men’s Test against New Zealand, together with two of the Vitality Blast T20 matches from which Robinson voluntarily withdrew himself from selection for Sussex CCC due to the impact of these proceedings.

Robinson is therefore free to play cricket immediately.

In coming to its decision, the Panel took into account a number of factors including the nature and content of the tweets, the breadth of their discrimination, their widespread dissemination in the media and the magnitude of the audience to whom they became available.

The Panel also considered there was significant mitigation, including the time that had elapsed since the tweets were posted, and a number of personal references which demonstrated that Robinson, who chose to address the Panel, is a very different person to the one who sent the tweets. It also took account of his remorse, admissions and cooperation as well as the huge impact which the revelation of these tweets and its consequences have had upon him and his family.

Robinson was also fined £3,200.

The Panel also considered that there was a real opportunity for Robinson, by speaking of his experiences, to have a valuable and positive impact upon others both inside and outside the cricketing community. With his willing agreement, it therefore also made a strong recommendation that Robinson participates in all training programmes in both the use of social media and in respect of anti-discrimination as directed by the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) over the next 2 years. This includes undertaking any training himself which the PCA considers appropriate for these purposes.

The full decision of the Panel is available here.

The Panel was chaired by Mark Milliken-Smith QC. The other two members were Claire Taylor and Anurag Singh.

Notes to editors

The CDC operates as an independent panel and is responsible for adjudicating on alleged breaches of the ECB’s Rules, Regulations and Directives, in accordance with the CDC Regulations.

The general aim of the CDC Regulations is to provide an efficient and fair system of dealing with alleged breaches of the ECB’s Rules, Regulations and Directives.

Tim O’Gorman is the current Chair of the CDC. A former professional cricketer for Derbyshire, he is a qualified solicitor and was appointed CDC Chair in 2016.

The CDC Regulations were amended in 2020 to allow for the publication of the written decisions of a CDC Panel. Previously such decisions had not been published.

ECB Directive 3.3 states: “No Participant may conduct themself in a manner or do any act or omission at any time which is improper or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.”

ECB Directive 3.4 states “Each Participant is bound by and must comply with the ECB Anti-Discrimination Code.”

ECB statement

Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “We accept the decisions made by the Cricket Discipline Commission and the sanctions they have imposed.

“Ollie has acknowledged that, whilst published a long time ago when he was a young man, these historic tweets were unacceptable. He has engaged fully in the disciplinary process, admitted the charges, has received his sanction from the CDC and will participate in training and use his experiences to help others.

“Given he has served the suspension handed down by the CDC, he will now be available for selection for England again.

“We stand against discrimination of all forms, and will continue working to ensure cricket is a welcoming and inclusive sport for all.”

Ollie Robinson statement

“I fully accept the CDC’s decision. As I have said previously, I am incredibly embarrassed and ashamed about the tweets I posted many years ago and apologise unreservedly for their contents.

“I am deeply sorry for the hurt I caused to anyone who read those tweets and in particular to those people to whom the messages caused offence. This has been the most difficult time in my professional career for both my family and myself.

“Whilst I want to move on, I do want to use my experience to help others in the future through working with the PCA.”

PCA statement

Rob Lynch, Chief Executive, PCA:

“Ollie Robinson and the PCA accept the sanctions passed down by the Cricket Discipline Commission.

“Whilst the offending comments were of an historical nature and we do not condone them, Ollie has fully accepted responsibility for them. He has matured significantly as an individual since he posted these tweets and has made a firm commitment to continuing to improve.

“I am pleased Ollie has volunteered to work with the PCA to use this experience to try and positively influence other players in our game and in society.

“We will use the learnings from the last month to further develop and evolve our education programmes in social media and build on our ongoing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion - and always strive to be better.”

The ECB, PCA and Ollie Robinson will be making no further comment at this stage.

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