In the thrilling series opener in Birmingham earlier this month, Robinson took five wickets in England’s narrow loss to Australia.However, he faced criticism for his excessive celebration after dismissing Usman Khawaja, who scored a century in Australia’s first innings.
While the celebration itself raised eyebrows, Robinson’s decision to persist with his behaviour and attempt to shift blame onto the Australian team and their former captain Ricky Ponting drew even more criticism.According to the former England captain, Robinson simply made an error in judgment by involving Ponting’s name in the discussions when asked about the issue at the end of the day’s play.
“He’s not the first cricketer to give someone a send-off in an Ashes battle and there’re a few Aussies that have given send-offs over the years,” Hussain said in the latest episode of The ICC Review.
“I’ve sort of enjoyed the to-ing and fro-ing from Ricky. We had Ricky working with us at Sky (Sky Sports) and the WhatsApp group was going ballistic that night… of all the Australians Ollie Robinson could mention, he mentioned Ricky. Our WhatsApp group was very, very funny that night and I can’t tell you some of Ricky’s responses,” he added.
Hussain is now interested to see how Robinson responds for the remainder of the series and wants the ongoing war of words to be kept to a minimum.
“I wouldn’t be saying anything to Ollie Robinson (if I was England captain), apart from which end would you like to bowl and show us your skills. But I might be having a word with the media guy and saying I’m hearing too much from Ollie Robinson off the field and we have 10 other cricketers that can do the press and the media,” he said.
“The problem nowadays are the various outlets he might be writing or doing one of the websites…you get asked by various media outlets and then that’s magnified on social media. Just whoever is in charge, I don’t want to be hearing about Ollie Robinson off the field, so can we just keep him away from the press just for the next four Ashes games as it builds through the series and it becomes the centre of attention,” he added.
Recognizing the intense emotions that cricketers can experience during competitive matches, the 55-year-old acknowledged that effectively managing these emotions can often bring out the best in players.
Drawing attention to the passionate displays of former India captain Virat Kohli, Hussain highlighted how such emotions can impact a player’s performance. Additionally, he referred to a specific incident from 2020 involving South Africa’s leading fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who received a one-match suspension for his excessive celebration after dismissing Joe Root.
“Look at Kohli in India and the way he reacts, and there is emotion to the sport. He (Robinson) gave someone a send-off and I’m never a big fan of send-offs as when you get someone out, that’s enough. You’ve done it. You’ve got him out and you don’t have to tell him where the pavilion is,” he added.
“It’s the emotion of a cricketer and especially a fast bowler bowling on a turgid pitch in an Ashes battle,” Hussain noted.
“The emotion of a moment, like Kagiso Rabada in the face of Joe Root in Port Elizabeth, and I backed him up for that very reason because it’s an emotional game and people want to see your emotion as it matters and you should care.”