April 22, 2024

Ollie Robinson: The Sussex and England player is aiming to return to regular cricket

  • Written by Alex Hood and Adrian Harms
  • BBC Sport

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Ollie Robinson has played in just nine games in the past 16 months

England bowler Ollie Robinson says he wants to “get personal matters in order” and get back to playing regular cricket.

The 30-year-old Sussex right-hander has been struggling with injury, having played just nine games since December 2022.

Robinson says he was seeing a psychiatrist while he was away at work.

“It's something I never thought I'd need, but given what's happened over the past year and the criticism I've had in light of public opinion, you need someone to lean on,” he said.

“You can't always rely on mom and dad or partners.

He told BBC Radio Sussex: “There are obviously some personal matters going on in the background – which I hope I can sort out soon – and focus on the cricket and enjoy playing and enjoying life. I haven't been able to do that.” truly. “When you're under a lot of stress at home, it's hard to stay focused.”

Robinson, who last featured in England's fourth Test in India in February, is set to play in up to five of Sussex's opening County Championship matches – depending on his bowling workload.

While he accepts his outspoken nature makes him vulnerable to criticism, and coming in as someone with 76 wickets in 20 Tests for England, he added: “Sometimes it's hard to take criticism. Obviously I'm not shy about saying a little bit of it.” Words here or there, and when they don't perform, I don't think that helps.

“I think people sometimes don't understand what's going on behind the scenes and crucify you publicly. They don't really know the damage it does to people.

“I would like them to understand the individual a little more and what they're going through. It's been hard to accept that side of it.”

While he denied he had a “point to prove”, Robinson said: “If I was playing cricket and ball as much as I could, people would naturally see the old Ollie Robinson – he hasn’t gone anywhere, he just hasn’t played cricket.

“I need to play and remind people how good I am.”

Robinson made his debut for Sussex nine years ago and will be hoping to repay that by ending their long wait for promotion to the top flight – and staying there for his entire career.

He said: “I could have easily gone to a Division One county. Sussex gave me that opportunity when I was at my lowest point, getting sacked by Yorkshire. If it wasn't for Sussex, I wouldn't have played for England, so I should be able to.” This club and the players getting back into Division One would be massive.

“I don't feel like I'd go anywhere else unless I had to, so getting into Division I and staying there would be ideal.”

Their campaign begins at home to newly relegated Northants in Hove on Friday, and Robinson said: “It's been a long time since I've played a game, really, so it will be good to play some cricket.

“The plan is to play as hard as possible and get back into the England team.”

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