Axed England bowler Ollie Robinson to make cricketing comeback against Hampshire 2nds in two T20 matches at Hove
Ollie Robinson is set to return to the cricket field with the Sussex second XI in two T20 matches against Hampshire on Tuesday.
Sussex last week said Robinson was taking a short break from the game after his England Test debut was overshadowed by controversy over racist and sexist tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013.
The 27-year-old has been suspended from international cricket pending an investigation by the England and Wales Cricket Board but remains eligible to represent his county.
He could have come into consideration for Sussex’s Vitality Blast match at Essex on Tuesday but has instead been named in the squad for the behind-closed-doors second XI matches at Hove.
The controversial Robinson tweets came to light on the first day of England’s drawn first Test against New Zealand earlier this month.
He later apologised for the postings, which were made when he was aged 18 or 19.
A Sussex statement last week read: ‘Ollie’s tweets were completely unacceptable, and their content is totally at odds with our stated ambition to inspire people from every background in our county to say, ‘I feel part of Sussex Cricket’.
‘Ollie is a very different man from the one that wrote those tweets and has clearly learned much in the intervening years.
‘As a result of his actions, Ollie has had the opportunity to represent his country suspended, is at the centre of intense public and media scrutiny and faces the possibility of further disciplinary action from the ECB.
‘Sussex Cricket will not be adding to these significant penalties.
‘The club will turn its attention to supporting Ollie in his commitment to continue to educate himself in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion.’
Sussex are top of their 2nd XI T20 group, having won five of their first seven games, while Hampshire are bottom with just one victory in five matches.
That came in their last outing against Surrey at The Oval last Wednesday.
Felix Organ (60) and Fletcha Middleton (58) top scored after opener Cameron Steel – on loan from Durham – had hit 28 in a total of 179-7. George Metzger, who has playing Southern Premier League cricket for Havant this season, was Hampshire’s wicket-keeper and scored 12 batting at No 7.
In reply, Surrey looked on course for victory after Ben Geddes (83) and ex-England Test batsman Mark Stoneman (54) had put on 117 for the first wicket in 10.5 overs.
But the introduction of Steel, who has only taken two wickets for Durham in six T20 Blast matches, sparked a stunning collapse.
Steel claimed 4-20 - dismissing the top four – as the hosts slithered to 168 all out to lose by 11 runs.