sport news PAUL NEWMAN: It's a scandal Ollie Robinson became such a scapegoat after the ... trends now

sport news PAUL NEWMAN: It's a scandal Ollie Robinson became such a scapegoat after the ... trends now
sport news PAUL NEWMAN: It's a scandal Ollie Robinson became such a scapegoat after the ... trends now

sport news PAUL NEWMAN: It's a scandal Ollie Robinson became such a scapegoat after the ... trends now

It did not sit comfortably at the time. An England coach calling out one of his players publicly at a time when he was at his most vulnerable and the demand for a scapegoat was at its most intense.

Was Jon Lewis really acting in the best interests of Ollie Robinson, recalled by England on Tuesday for the first two Tests against South Africa, and the team when he questioned his fitness during the final Ashes Test in Hobart earlier this year?

Or was the fast bowling coach covering his own back as the inquest into another Ashes debacle began and the demand for heads to roll escalated?

Ollie Robinson being called out publicly did not do a hugely talented bowler much good

Ollie Robinson being called out publicly did not do a hugely talented bowler much good

Jon Lewis (left) questioned his fitness during the final Ashes Test in Hobart earlier this year

Jon Lewis (left) questioned his fitness during the final Ashes Test in Hobart earlier this year

Certainly, it did not appear to do a hugely talented bowler, who has had a difficult start to his Test career, much good.

Robinson left that Hobart Test with a back spasm, but it emerged that the injury was more serious when a similar issue curtailed his involvement in England's warm-up game in Antigua, and then the whole West Indies tour.

When more stiffness in his back ruled Robinson out of a county select team to face New Zealand at Chelmsford ahead of the first Test this summer, it became clear that he had joined the long list of England bowlers ruled out with serious back problems. But the Sussex seamer was the only one who had his fitness for purpose questioned.

Add serious dental work, a bad bout of Covid and food poisoning and it is obvious Robinson has had wretched luck with injuries and illness after a breakthrough international summer last year when he took 28 wickets and was named one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year.

Last summer he took 28 wickets and was named one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year

Last summer he took 28 wickets and was named one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year

And that after his first day in Test cricket was overshadowed by the emergence, exposed at the most damaging time possible in an example of modern 'journalism' at its worst, of historical racist and sexist

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