How does the meme go when adapted for our sport? One regular day of England cricket / That’s all I ask / Will never happen. And so it was yesterday at Lord’s. Sure, it was conventional enough on the scoreboard, New Zealand ticking along very nicely to reach 246-3 with Devon Conway marching to a quite outstanding unbeaten 136 on debut. However, anyone playing along via twitter through the afternoon session knew that the main action was to come at stumps via another man making his bow, Ollie Robinson.
In case you missed it – unlikely as that is – as England’s new quick bowled a potent spell after lunch, old tweets of his were being mined and the result was grim. Really grim. Just about every box was ticked: sexism, racism, the works. Simon Burnton recaps what we know (and more tweets have surfaced since this was written), along with Robinson’s subsequent apology issued after play.
That piece also includes strongly-worded comments from Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, with the organisation set to carry out a review at the end of this Test Match. He didn’t miss:
I do not have the words to express how disappointed I am that an England men’s player has chosen to write tweets of this nature, however long ago that might have been.
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. We are better than this. We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature. We will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process.
It’s going to be a strange morning. All eyes will be on Robinson as he takes the field to bowl, with all ears tuned to the voices-of-reason around the game to get their considered opinion the morning after the night before. Where the pieces land really is anyone’s guess.