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Ashes 2023

‘It’s professional sport’ – Ollie Robinson defends ‘f***ing p***k’ send-off to Usman Khawaja

by Ben Gardner 3 minute read

Ollie Robinson has defended his send-off to Usman Khawaja, after he appeared to shout “f*** off, you f***ing p***k” in the opener’s direction while celebrating his dismissal on day three at Edgbaston.

Khawaja had played excellently up to that point, making his first hundred in England before succumbing to a Ben Stokes ploy. England stationed six fielders in a ring close in in front of the wicket, and Khawaja fell into the trap, attempting to manufacture a shot square of the wicket only to be bowled by Robinson.

That was the right-arm seamer’s first wicket in the game, and he celebrated with gusto, sending a volley Khawaja’s way. He came in for significant criticism on social media, especially from Australian fans and pundits. But Robinson defended his reaction, describing it as part of “the theatre of the game”.


“It’s my first home Ashes and to get the big wicket at the time was special for me,” Robinson said. “I think Uzzie played unbelievably well. To get that wicket for us as a team at the time was massive. We all want that theatre of the game, don’t we? So I’m here to provide it.”

On the reaction from Australians, Robinson suggested it was simply a matter of “the shoe [being] on the other foot”.

“I think when you’re in the heat of the moment and you have the passion of the Ashes, that can happen,” he said. “We’ve all seen Ricky Ponting, other Aussies do the same to us. Just because the shoe is on the other foot, it’s not received well. I don’t really care how it’s perceived, to be honest. It’s the Ashes. It’s professional sport. If you can’t handle that, what can you handle?”

Robinson may yet fall foul of the ICC’s Code of Conduct. While his words were not picked up on the stump mic, and hence won’t be considered an “audible obscenity”, it is likely he will charged for “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal.”

Australia’s wicketkeeper Alex Carey said that Robinson’s reaction hadn’t been noted in the away camp. “I didn’t see it at all,” Carey said. “Usman hasn’t said anything. It’s an Ashes – at times it’s going to be pretty exciting and hostile cricket, but I actually was sitting there disappointed at getting out and didn’t see anything over the top there. From our dressing-room, there was no comment.”

You can bet on the 2023 Ashes with our Match Centre partners, bet365.

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