As one of the county’s most metronomic bowlers in cricket, it’s hard to imagine Ollie Robinson breaking discipline with the ball in his hand. In 2014, however, it was a completely different story – off the field at least.
27-year-old Sussex Seamer has been called up to the England squad for their Test series against New Zealand, starting Wednesday, which completes a remarkable turn in fortunes for a player fired by Yorkshire seven years ago for ‘unprofessional actions’ and looked out. set to ditch his talent before the age of 20.
Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie said at the time, ‘If a player shows consistent behavior that isn’t professional, there has to be a point where you say,’ Look, this isn’t really working, you obviously aren’t. made the effort to play for the club ‘.’
Ollie Robinson (above) could appear for England seven years after his dismissal from Yorkshire
Now, with a first Testcap in the offing, Robinson has come full circle. “You look at a lot of professional athletes and they went through difficult times to get to the top,” he says Sportsmail.
‘I remember being fired from Yorkshire at the age of 18 and thinking this might not be for me. I was fired in August, did a trial in Hampshire shortly after, then took a few months off to get back to work. That winter was when I really realized I couldn’t live without doing the sport.
‘I knew I had to turn my head on it and do this. If I wanted to play professional cricket for a living I had to make some changes. Being in Sussex and being closer to home made it easier. They gave me the opportunity and hopefully I have repaid their trust. ‘
He’s done more than that. During his time at Hove, particularly over the past three seasons, Robinson has become one of the most consistent players in the county game.
The then Yorkshire coach said at the time that he had displayed behavior that was ‘unprofessional’
His accuracy and diligence with the red ball, which comes down from a tremendous height given his 6ft 5in frame, has marked him as one of the toughest proposals in four-day domestic cricket.
However, the lessons he learned during his difficult baptism outdoors in Yorkshire have stayed with him.
“We expect a lot from our young athletes in this country,” he says. ‘You miss a lot with cricket and top sport. You make a lot of sacrifices that people probably don’t realize or think about a lot.
‘At the time in Yorkshire I was young and a little naive. I was lucky to get another chance and get where I am today, but it can be difficult for many young people. Certainly in the age of social media you can’t really go wrong. ‘
But the tall 6’5-inch bowler has since rebuilt its reputation in Sussex in the intervening years
After working his way into the England squad, the holiday in Ayia Napa may have to wait a few more years. Robinson spent two months this winter as a test reserve on the UK tour to Sri Lanka and India.
However, he admits that he spent most of his time not only recharging his long run, but also reviving his love of off-spin, which was his share of the trade before transitioning at the age of 17. on pace.
“In the bubble, I was bowling off-spin against Burnsy (Rory Burns) and Dom Sibley, trying to mimic Ravi Ashwin because he’s just a bit bigger than most spinners,” says Robinson.
‘I can still take it to a fairly high level. Height can be just as valuable to an off-spinner as it is to a fast bowler. ‘
Robinson could play for his country on Wednesday in the Test series against New Zealand
It’s his disciplined bowling rather than his ability to spin the ball that England is looking forward to when he gets the nod next week.
“ I haven’t been on the speed gun in a while, but a few years ago I was timed at 83 or 84 mph with the white ball, ” he adds.
‘I’d like to think I’ve made a bit of pace since then. I’ve gotten fitter, stronger, but accuracy is probably my strong point.
‘I grew up watching Glenn McGrath, one of the guys I’ve tried to emulate during my career. That accuracy is something I’ve always worked on. ‘