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England vs NZ 1st Test: Ollie Robinson suspended by ECB for historic racist, sexist posts

The country’s cricket board (ECB) announced on Sunday that England debutant fast bowler Ollie Robinson has been suspended from “all international cricket” after historical racist and sexist tweets surfaced earlier this week when he made his test debut against New Zealand (June 6). Robinson, 27, was the pick of England’s bowlers in the drawn test, taking seven wickets, and issued an apology statement on Wednesday for his “thoughtless and irresponsible” tweets.

The ECB issued a statement saying that “England and Sussex bowler Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historic tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013.”

“He will not be available for selection for the second Test against New Zealand, which begins on Thursday, June 10 at Edgbaston. Robinson will leave the England camp as soon as possible and return to his county.”

Hosts labour to draw with Kiwis in Lord’s Test

On day five of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday, England put up a valiant fight in the final session to secure a tense draw. Following the cancellation of day three’s play due to rain, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson made a bold declaration at 169/6 at lunch to set England a target of 273.

However, England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley arrived at the crease with the sole intention of blunting the new-ball bowling attack in order to save the test match. Sibley batted for over five hours for his unbeaten 60 off 207 balls, while Ollie Pope was unbeaten on 20.

The hosts finished with 170/3 in 70 overs before agreeing to a draw late in the evening. England captain Joe Root, who batted for 40 minutes in the final session, said they were cautious due to the quality of the visiting bowling attack on a deteriorating surface.

“It was slow and difficult to time the ball and get any kind of rhythm,” Root said to the BBC. “When you look at the target and the number of overs you have, it wasn’t quite as simple as that. Of course, some people will be disappointed, but from our perspective, we are very much in this series.

“We leave here level, and we have a good chance of winning the series at Edgbaston.”

New Zealand may have squandered a chance to put England on the ropes ahead of the second Test at Edgbaston, but captain Williamson can take plenty of positives from Lord’s. Devon Conway produced a masterful double century on debut, while Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson were difficult to contain with the new ball, combining for 10 wickets.

“A special performance from Conway, a special player,” said Williamson. “On his debut test at the home of cricket, he demonstrated his class. Tim gave an outstanding performance as well; he led the attack brilliantly, and (the other) guys complemented him admirably. On this pitch, we had to be patient, and we were rewarded for it.”

(with Reuters inputs)

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