Fiery England fast-forward Ollie Robinson says he doesn’t care how Australia take his rant-laden Usman Khawaja departure and justifies it as part of the Ashes theatre.
Robinson raised eyebrows on Sunday when he appeared to yell, “Fuck off you fucking idiot” as he bowled Khawaja for 141 in the third morning of the Ashes series’ opening game.
After catching Australia bottom on that rainy day, Robinson landed several shots at the tourists in a dramatic seven-minute post-match press conference.
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The Quick accused his rivals of being unAustralian with their defensive approach, claiming Australia have three No.11s in Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland.
But it’s Khawaja’s departure that will draw the most attention after the 29-year-old threw the left-hander to end his nearly eight-hour stay at the wicket.
“It’s my first home ashes. It was special for me to get the big wicket at the time,” he said.
“We all want the setting of the game, so I’m here to provide it.”
When asked if there might have been a target on his head at the Australian camp, Robinson was unimpressed.
“To be honest I don’t care how it’s perceived, it’s the Ashes, it’s pro sport,” he said.
“If you can’t deal with that, what can you deal with?”
The paceman didn’t comment when pressed about whether he thought he would be penalized by on-game officials.
“When you’re in the heat of the moment and you feel the passion of the Ashes, that can happen,” said Robinson.
“We’ve all seen Ricky Ponting and other Australians do the same to us and just because the shoe is on the other foot doesn’t go down well.”
Robinson is no stranger to controversy.
He attracted attention on the day of his Test debut when historic racist and sexist slurs surfaced on social media, prompting an apology and suspension.
Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey said he did not see the Khawaja incident on Sunday after England went 2-28 ahead and led by 35 points in the second inning.
However, Robinson is unlikely to have endeared himself to Australia, having previously also revealed that England would ‘hide’ the guests on the series.
Robinson said he believed England could win the Test if they had 90 overs to knock out Australia, provided the tourists were keen to pursue a goal to win the game.
“If they were going to draw and play defensively like they’ve done so far in this game, maybe it would be a little different,” he said.
“We made sure they play the way they did. The aggressive nature of our approach, our batting and bowling, means they had to be more defensive.
“You don’t normally see that from an Australian team but the way we play under Ben (Stokes) and Baz (manager Brendon McCullum) causes that to happen.”