Ollie Robinson recalled to England Test squad for the first time following his ban for historical racist and sexist tweets… as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Sam Curran also return for India series
- Ollie Robinson’s Test debut was marred after past offensive tweets came to light
- The seamer was handed an eight-match ban, five of which were suspended
- Robinson has returned to the Test squad for the first time since his ban
- Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran have also been recalled
England have wiped the slate clean by welcoming Ollie Robinson back at the first Test opportunity after his suspension for historic offensive tweets.
The Sussex seam bowler was on Wednesday named in a 17-man squad for the first two Tests against India next month, with England confirming they consider the controversy over the decade-old racist and sexist missives now closed.
Robinson’s Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s earlier this season was marred by the emergence of the tweets, sent when he was 18 and 19, that forced him into a public apology after his first day as an England player.
Ollie Robinson has been recalled to the England Test squad for the first time since his ban
The England star’s Test debut was marred after historical racist and sexist tweets came to light
The 27-year-old went on to take seven wickets in the Test and show promise with the bat in making 42 but was left out of the second match against the Kiwis and was then banned for eight games, with five of them suspended, by the Cricket Disciplinary Commission.
England made no mention of the suspension when they announced another enlarged squad but coach Chris Silverwood did say: ‘Ollie proved in that Test he has the ability to replicate his outstanding form in the County Championship at international level and we will continue to work with him to develop his England career.’
Ben Stokes, who returned to captain a makeshift England 50-over squad to victory over Pakistan earlier this month, is back in the squad even though he was left out of the Twenty20 series against Pakistan because his broken finger has not yet fully healed.
And there are also places for Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Sam Curran, all rested for the New Zealand series because of IPL commitments, with the Welsh Fire Hundred side now hastily needing to find a replacement captain for Bairstow.
Robinson was given a suspension and handed a £3,200 fine following an ECB probe, and even the Prime Minister had his say on the punishment meted out for the decade-old tweets
It is too soon for Jofra Archer, who England now hope may be fit enough to feature towards the end of the five-match series after returning from elbow surgery to play for Sussex, while the desperately unfortunate Chris Woakes misses out with a heel injury.
Ollie Pope is included even though, as Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday, he is struggling to be fit for the first Test on August 4 with a thigh injury. That could pave the way for Dan Lawrence to replace him at Trent Bridge.
There is also a place for Haseeb Hameed, who can put pressure on the under-performing Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley for a top three place. But Dawid Malan’s hopes of forcing his way back into the Test squad before this winter’s Ashes suffered a setback with his exclusion.
At least Malan was given a vote of confidence after England’s thrilling victory over Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday by his Twenty20 captain Eoin Morgan.
Malan struggled to make an impact throughout a three-match series won 2-1 by England and spent 33 balls in making 31 in the last-over win in Manchester.
Ben Stokes (left) and Jos Buttler (right) have also returned for the India series next month
England squad for India Test series
Root (c), Anderson, Bairstow, Bess, Broad, Burns, Buttler, Crawley, S Curran, Hameed, Lawrence, Leach, Pope, Robinson, Sibley, Stokes, Wood.
And with Liam Livingstone making a formidable case for inclusion in England’s side for October’s Twenty20 World Cup by becoming player of the series against Pakistan, the pressure is back on the No1 ranked T20 batsman in the world.
But Morgan, who will name his provisional World Cup squad in September, could not have been more effusive about Malan on Wednesday when he said: ‘I see Dawid playing a massive role in our team.
‘Just because he’s had a quiet series doesn’t mean he’s not a good player. He’s done exceptional things for us over a long period of time and I think this game actually suited his game because he can go through the gears and the bulk of our side can’t.’
England’s Test players will all be allowed to play two games for their Hundred sides before reporting to a training camp on July 28, a week before the first Test of the marquee series against India.