London [UK], June 7 (ANI): Boris Johnson, United Kingdom Prime Minister on Monday rallied behind Sports Minister Olivier Dowden in criticisng England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for suspending pacer Ollie Robinson from international cricket over his tweets which were sent out by him during his teenage days.
Earlier in the day, Dowden, United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, said that the ECB has gone over the top by suspending pacer Robinson.
"The Prime Minister is supportive of the comments from Oliver Dowden that he made via tweet this morning. As Oliver Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago [sic] written by someone as a teenager, for which they have rightly apologised," ESPNCricinfo quoted Johnson's official spokesperson as saying.
Earlier, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also said that he felt genuinely "sorry" for Ollie Robinson following his suspension by ECB at the end of the first Test against New Zealand at the Lord's.
Sussex bowler Robinson was suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following the tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013.
Ashwin said the suspension has given a strong indication of what lies ahead in the social media era. "I can understand the negative sentiments towards what #OllieRobinson did years ago, but I do feel genuinely sorry for him being suspended after an impressive start to his Test career. This suspension is a strong indication of what the future holds in this social media Gen," Ashwin tweeted.
Robinson will leave the England camp immediately and return to his county, the ECB said in a statement. Last week, Robinson had "unreservedly apologise" for the "racist and sexist" tweets he posted over eight years ago as a teenager.
Robinson admitted that he is "ashamed" of making racist remarks as his tweets from 2012-2013 resurfaced on social media.
"On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public. I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist," the 27-year-old had said in a statement.
"I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets," he had added.
Meanwhile, England skipper Joe Root and Dominic Sibley helped the hosts walk away with a draw in the first Test after New Zealand declared their innings at 169/6. The two teams will next lock horns in the second Test on Thursday. (ANI)