What kind of a social media shemozzle England is in. And what a hypocritical mess the ECB threatens to make of the whole sad saga.
To recap: Ollie Robinson was thrown under a bus last week by ECB chief Tom Harrison at Lord’s with a strong conviction – released while the 27-year-old was on Sky and apologized for sending racist and sexist tweets nine years ago.
But so far there has been nothing but a tenacious statement about the emergence of a more overtly racist tweet sent by another current England player when he was just 15.
Craig Overton could replace suspended Ollie Robinson on Thursday
Not to mention the governing body’s silence on the latest twist to the story in the form of further historical indiscretions from Jimmy Anderson, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler.
Meanwhile, a player who arguably has less right than anyone else to be part of England’s second test squad at Edgbaston practiced and, with some irony, could replace the suspended Robinson on Thursday.
Craig Overton, remember, was reported in 2015 for telling Pakistani-born Sussex batsman Ashar Zaidi to ‘go back to your own f****** country’ during a county match.
Incredibly, the Somerset bowler was given only a ‘level one’ penalty and was banned for two matches, not because of the comments, but under ECB disciplinary procedure.
England bowler Robinson apologized for sending racist and sexist tweets as a teenager
Overton was asked about the incident in an interview last week, saying: “I don’t believe I said it.
‘I don’t believe I have such a character. We had Azhar Ali in our dressing room and I was the first to go upstairs to chat with him.” So that’s okay then. I would suggest that Overton’s ‘crime’ overheard by Sussex referee Alex Wharf and Mike Yardy was worse and certainly more recent than anything tweeted by Robinson.
If his slate is clean, then all those exposed in recent surreal days should be too.
Robinson was thrown under a bus by ECB chief Tom Harrison (above)
And how grubby have been many of the practices involved in exposing these tweets, not least of which was wisden.com – not to be confused with the great almanack – dragging another English player into this and then telling him would not give a name because he is under 16.
That’s like dropping a bomb and running away. Posts from athletes when they were kids should be off limits, right?
And anyone who scours Twitter accounts for trouble is certainly embarking on more of a witch hunt than legitimate journalism.
Better for the ECB to draw a line under these tweets, especially those of a minor at the time, and introduce more educational programs and vetting measures. Instead, they make an example, and a political celebre, of Robinson and dig a giant hole for themselves.
DON’T FORGET JIMMY’S AMAZING MILESTONE
It was supposed to be Anderson’s big moment. The day he could reflect on the extraordinary record he is about to break by becoming England’s most capable player against New Zealand in Edgbaston.
Instead, his Zoom press conference on Tuesday understandably turned into an interrogation about the whole sorry Twitter crisis that suddenly engulfed England. And it almost turned into a farce, too, because of a terrible internet connection in the team hotel.
So it still needs to be said that Anderson’s 162nd Test appearance is an incredible achievement.
Jimmy Anderson becomes England England’s most capped test player on Thursday donderdag
For a fast bowler to surpass Sir Alastair Cook’s record as he approaches his 39th birthday, this is one of the greatest milestones in even Anderson’s illustrious career.
Anderson was asked yesterday about that career and about racist and homophobic tweets, citing then-coach Peter Moores’ decision to promote him and Stuart Broad at the expense of 2005 Ashes heroes Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard in Wellington in early 2008 as the most significant. moment in one of the largest opening partnerships.
“It was a good starting point in our testing careers,” said Anderson. “Mooresey brought us in, gave us responsibility and showed confidence in us. We still look back on it fondly and loved every minute of it.’ Truly a record and a collaboration to enjoy.
BLAST MAY NOT BE SENT TO PAST
A huge year for one of English cricket’s greatest modern success stories begins on Wednesday.
The Vitality T20 Blast is back and starts with defending champions Nottinghamshire taking on Worcestershire in one of the few matches Sky will feature.
These have of course been reduced, because so much money and attention will go to the Hundred next month.
Defending champion Nottinghamshire takes on Worcestershire in the Vitality T20 Blast
But it is hoped that a T20 competition that continues to grow every year is not completely undermined by the ECB’s big bet on their new format.
“It’s one of the most special days of the summer,” Ben Duckett, Notts’ hero in last year’s win over Surrey, said of the final day.
“It’s so close when you get to the international stage as a county player and I don’t see why the Hundred should change that. It must add to it.
“I wouldn’t like to see us lose fans from the Blast to the Hundred and I don’t see why we should.”
Amen to that.