'Just because shoe is on the other foot' - Robinson defends abusive send-off to Usman Khawaja
Ollie Robinson came out defending his abusive send-off upon dismissing centurion Usman Khawaja on Day 3 of the Ashes 2023 opener in Edgbaston. Robinson managed to york one past the advancing Khawaja and bowled him before clearly hurling the 'f' word twice at the batter.
The right-arm seamer appeared to have to have shouted "f#$@ off, you f#@$ing p@#k" the moment he got rid of Khawaja after a stupendous knock of 141. Robinson came in for criticism from Australian fans and pundits for his excessively aggressive celebrations and abusive send-off on social media.
The England pacer, however, defended his demeanour, stating it was only part of the "theatrics of the game" in an Ashes Test. Ollie Robinson also said the reaction from the Australians was simply a case of "the shoe (being) on the other foot" for once.
It was Robinson's first breakthrough of a home Ashes Test, which would've obviously ignited a sense of jubilation. But the cricketer shall count himself lucky his words were not caught on the stump mic or he would've faced ICC sanction for 'audible obscenity'.
Robinson defends send-off to Khawaja
Robinson could still be given a wrap on the knuckles, though, for breaking the governing body's mandatory code of conduct for using language and making provocative gestures which could trigger an aggressive reaction from the batter.
Either way, the bowler stands firm he wasn't doing anything wrong in the heat of the moment and his behaviour aligned with the theatrics of the Ashes contest. Robinson also insisted if it was an England batter at the receiving end of an abusive send-off from an Australian bowler, the reactions from the opposition side would've been entirely different.
"It’s my first home Ashes and to get the big wicket at the time was special for me," Robinson told the press after Day 3 of the Birmingham Test. "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."
"I think when you’re in the heat of the moment and you have the passion of the Ashes, that can happen. 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?" he added.