Ollie Robinson

Ollie Robinson

Player Bio

Oliver Edward Robinson, popularly known as Ollie Robinson, has emerged as one of the most promising cricketers in the English cricketing circuit. Born on December 1, 1993, in Margate, Kent, Robinson has showcased his prowess both with the bat and the ball. His journey in the world of cricket has been nothing short of a roller-coaster, with moments of sheer brilliance on the field and challenges off it. His right-arm medium-fast bowling and right-handed batting style have drawn attention and accolades from cricket enthusiasts and experts alike.

Early Life and Entry into Cricket

Robinson's passion for cricket was evident from a young age. He honed his skills at the King's School in Canterbury, where he received his early education. His journey in professional cricket began with stints in various youth teams, including Kent Under-13s, Kent Under-15s, and Kent Under-17s.

The 2021 season was a defining period in Robinson's career. It was during this time that he not only solidified his position in the England Test side but also concluded the season as England's leading fast bowler. This achievement was further highlighted when he was included in a group of 20 players who received the new ECB central contracts spanning all formats.

However, Robinson's entry into international cricket was not without its challenges. As he made his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord's, some offensive social media posts from his teenage years in 2012 and 2013 came to light. Despite the controversy, Robinson's performance in the match was commendable. He claimed seven wickets and scored 42 in his maiden innings. Following the match, he faced disciplinary action, resulting in a ban for eight matches, with five of those suspended for two years, and a fine of £3200.

Robinson's resilience was evident when he returned to the cricketing arena. He was recalled for England's Tests against India, where he bowled more overs than any other player in the series. His performance was noteworthy, emerging as the leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets at an average of 21.55. This included five-wicket hauls at renowned venues like Trent Bridge and Headingley.

Before establishing himself in the international circuit, Robinson faced challenges in his domestic career as well. After moving from Kent to Yorkshire, where his stepfather, former England assistant coach Paul Farbrace, was the second-team coach, Robinson faced termination of his Yorkshire contract in 2014. This was due to several unprofessional actions, including poor timekeeping and irregular attendance at training sessions. However, by the start of 2021, Robinson had transformed his image. He was now a 27-year-old father, in contention for Test selection after an impressive Lions tour of Australia. He had also claimed 137 wickets over two Championship seasons, making him the seamer with the most wickets during that period.

Robinson's playing style, which offers good bounce even without extreme speed, has drawn comparisons with renowned cricketers like Josh Hazlewood. He has also cited Glenn McGrath as a source of inspiration. After playing for Hampshire and Essex's Second XI, Robinson signed a short-term deal with Sussex. His talent wasevident when, in April 2015, he scored his maiden first-class century while on debut. This achievement was further highlighted when he, along with Matthew Hobden, set a 107-year record for the best tenth-wicket partnership for Sussex.

Robinson's consistent performances under the guidance of coach Jason Gillespie in 2018 were commendable. He took 74 Division Two wickets, helping Sussex narrowly miss promotion. By 2019, he had further solidified his reputation as a leading new-ball bowler in the county system. This was evident when he took 63 Championship wickets, including a remarkable 8 for 34 against Middlesex. His form during the England Lions' tour of Australia in early 2020 earned him further attention and ultimately a spot in the England squad.

Rise in the Domestic Circuit

Ollie Robinson's ascent in the domestic cricket circuit is a tale of perseverance, talent, and determination. He began his professional journey playing for Kent's Second XI. However, after just one match in the 2013 season, he transitioned to Leicestershire before eventually representing Yorkshire's Second XI. By the end of the 2013 season, Robinson had amassed an impressive tally of 59 wickets and 1,282 runs in Second XI cricket. This led to his first-team List A debut for Yorkshire in July 2013 against Leicestershire.

In October of the same year, Robinson's potential was recognized as he signed a professional contract with Yorkshire. However, his journey with Yorkshire was not entirely smooth. After making seven appearances in the T20 Blast in 2014, Robinson faced a setback. He was dismissed from the team due to unprofessional behaviours, primarily related to poor timekeeping.

Not one to be deterred, Robinson continued to pursue his passion. Later in the 2014 season, he made a List A appearance for Hampshire. His dedication and skill caught the attention of Sussex, who signed him on a short-term deal in April 2015, primarily due to an injury crisis affecting their primary bowlers. Robinson's debut for Sussex in the County Championship was nothing short of spectacular. Batting at number nine, he scored a century, partnering with Matt Hobden to set a Sussex record for a tenth-wicket partnership. This feat made him the first Sussex player in nearly a century to score a hundred on their County Championship debut.

His performance in the 2015 season further solidified his reputation. Robinson claimed 46 Championship wickets at an average of 24.71. His outstanding season earned him nominations for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award and saw him crowned as Sussex's Young Player of the Year. Recognizing his talent and potential, Sussex offered Robinson a new three-year contract in October 2015.

Robinson's rise didn't stop there. In April 2021, he was named as Sussex's vice-captain. That same month, he delivered a stellar performance, taking 9 wickets for 78 runs in a County Championship match against Glamorgan. This achievement marked the best bowling figures by an Englishman since 2016.

International Debut and Performance

Robinson's consistent and impressive performances in the domestic circuit did not go unnoticed. In May 2020, he was named in a 55-man group of players to begin training for international fixtures in England post the COVID-19 pandemic. By June 2020, he was included in England's 30-man squad to train for the series against the West Indies. Although he was initially named as a reserve player for the first Test match of the series, his maiden call-up to the senior team came during the second Test match.

Robinson's much-anticipated Test debut arrived on 2 June 2021, where he represented England against New Zealand. He showcased his talent by claiming the wicket of Tom Latham as his first in Test cricket. However, his debut was marred by controversy as old offensive tweets from his teenage years surfaced. Despite the challenges, Robinson's performance on the field remained commendable. He was England's leading wicket-taker during the summer, claiming 28 wickets at an impressive average of 19.60.

Key Achievements and Records

Throughout his career, Robinson has set and broken multiple records. Some of his notable achievements include:

Scoring a century on his County Championship debut for Sussex, becoming the first player to do so in 95 years.

In the 2015 season, he took 46 Championship wickets at an average of 24.71.

In April 2021, Robinson's 9 wickets for 78 runs against Glamorgan marked the best bowling figures by an Englishman since 2016.

On his Test debut against New Zealand, he claimed seven wickets and scored 42 runs.

Robinson was named one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year in April 2022.

Robinson's journey, both in the domestic and international circuits, is a testament to his skill, dedication, and resilience. From facing setbacks in his early career to emerging as one of England's promising talents, Robinson's story is an inspiration for aspiring cricketers everywhere.

Challenges and Controversies

Ollie Robinson's journey in the world of cricket, like many sportsmen, has not been without its share of challenges and controversies. One of the most significant controversies that Robinson faced was during his Test debut against New Zealand in June 2021. On what should have been one of the proudest moments of his career, old offensive tweets from 2012 and 2013 resurfaced, casting a shadow over his achievements on the field. These tweets, which were deemed racist and sexist, led to widespread criticism and debate.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was quick to launch an investigation into the matter. As a result, Robinson was removed from the England squad for the second Test match of the series and was suspended from all formats of international cricket by the ECB. The severity of the sanctions drew mixed reactions from the public and officials alike. Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, described the ECB's actions as "over the top" and even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed agreement with Dowden's sentiments.

However, Robinson took responsibility for his actions. He issued a public apology, expressing remorse for his past behaviour and acknowledging the hurt caused. Following a hearing by the Cricket Discipline Commission in July 2021, Robinson was cleared to return to cricket.

Ollie's Playing Style and Strengths

Robinson's playing style is a blend of precision, skill, and intelligence. As a right-arm medium-fast bowler, he offers good bounce without relying on extreme speed. This ability to extract bounce from most surfaces has often been compared to the likes of Australian cricketer Josh Hazlewood. Robinson has also cited the legendary Glenn McGrath as a source of inspiration, and traces of McGrath's discipline and consistency can be seen in Robinson's bowling.

His batting, while secondary to his primary role as a bowler, has shown moments of brilliance. His century on debut for Sussex in the County Championship is a testament to his capabilities with the bat. Robinson's all-round skills make him a valuable asset in the longer format of the game.

One of Robinson's key strengths is his resilience. Whether it's bouncing back from controversies or adapting to the challenges of international cricket, Robinson has showcased a mental fortitude that complements his physical skills. His ability to learn, adapt, and improve has been evident throughout his career, making him one of the most promising talents in English cricket.

Ollie Robinson's journey in cricket is a tale of talent, perseverance, and redemption. From his early days in the domestic circuit to his rise in international cricket, Robinson has showcased his prowess and potential. While his career has seen its share of challenges and controversies, Robinson's ability to face them head-on and emerge stronger is commendable.

His playing style, characterised by precision and intelligence, combined with his all-round skills, makes him a valuable asset for the England cricket team. As Robinson continues to evolve and grow, the cricketing world watches with anticipation, hoping to witness many more stellar performances from this talented cricketer.

When did Ollie Robinson make his Test debut for England?
Robinson made his Test debut for England on 2 June 2021 against New Zealand.
What controversy surrounded Robinson during his Test debut?
During his Test debut, old offensive tweets from 2012 and 2013 resurfaced, leading to criticism and his subsequent suspension from international cricket by the ECB.
Which county teams has Robinson played for?
Robinson has played for Kent, Yorkshire, Hampshire, and Sussex in the county circuit.
What is Robinson's primary role in the team?
Robinson's primary role is that of a right-arm medium-fast bowler, though he has also showcased his batting skills on several occasions.
Has Robinson received any notable awards or recognitions?
Yes, Robinson was named one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year in April 2022.