Joe Root says England want to making cricket inclusive and diverse amid Ollie Robinson controversy

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“We are committed to making a positive change in the sport,” says England captain Joe Root as the ECB’s investigation of racist and sexist historical tweets continues; The hosts won’t name XI for the second round until Thursday morning as they consider options to replace suspended closer Ollie Robinson.

Joe Root insists that England is committed to making the game more inclusive, after the ECB confirmed that it is investigating a series of historical posts on social media from people in the England setting.

Captain Joe Root says England is committed to making cricket as inclusive as possible as the sport addresses the Ollie Robinson controversy.

Robinson is currently suspended pending an investigation by the Cricket Board of England and Wales into the racist and sexist tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013, while the governing body knows that a second unidentified player has posted “historical offensive material” on social media.

The revelations undermined a ‘Moment of Unity’ before the first test drawn, when England players wore black anti-discrimination jerseys, a practice Root insists his team will uphold throughout the summer as they strive to attract a diverse base. of fans to the game.

“I’ve had good conversations, as a team we’ve had some good, honest conversations about things and, as mentioned at the end of the last game, we are all very engaged in trying to advance our game and move the sport forward,” Root said. Sky sports.

“We wore those jerseys at the start of the last test match in that ‘Moment of Unity’ and we set out to try to have a positive impact on our game. We want it to be more inclusive, we want it to be as diverse as we can, we want it to be a game. for all.

England and New Zealand shared a ‘Moment of Unity’ before the first Test at Lord’s.

“We’ve been talking for a long time about how we want to make changes and this year is about action, it’s about putting that in place and moving forward, and we as a team are very committed to that.”

When asked if he could assure the cricket public that the views expressed in Robinson’s historical tweets are not currently those held in the England dressing room, Root said: “Yes, absolutely, and I think that will show in the actions we take next during the rest of the year.

“This is just the beginning of things in many ways. We are committed to making a positive change in the sport and just because we have said that we want to improve the game we are not saying that we are perfect in the sense that we have never made mistakes, but we want it to be a better place.

“I have two young children. I want them to grow up in an environment and in a world where everyone is included and more educated in these matters and that is something that they do not have to deal with later on. I think it is very important that we, as team, let’s get on with that. “

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden have suggested that Robinson’s removal from Thursday’s second round is tough, but the ECB has upheld its decision to leave England with several selection decisions in Edgbaston.

Root said a decision has yet to be made on whether Somerset’s SUV Craig Overton will enter as a similar replacement for Robinson, or whether Jack Leach or his teammate Dom Bess, called to the team on Tuesday, could get the nod.

Fast pitcher Mark Wood is expected to rest for the game, opening the way for his closing partner Olly Stone to return, while goalie James Bracey is fine to play after suffering a painful blow to his finger in practice Tuesday. .

“The preparations have gone reasonably well,” said Root, who hopes to play in front of a crowd that could grow to 18,000 people each day.

“I think the guys have made the best of the two days. A lot of good things have happened, good conversations about areas where we can be a little stronger and areas of their team that maybe not. They have known about. to enter the series.

“I think we have prepared very well to get into this game. Obviously, there is still everything to play in the series and it is very exciting with 18,000 people on the ground and hopefully we can see a good test match.”

Watch live coverage of the second round between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event starting at 10am. M.

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