UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spoken out against Ollie Robinson's "over the top" suspension from the England cricket team for posting racist and sexist tweets as a teenager.
Robinson, 27, starred on debut against the Blackcaps this week, but his performance was overshadowed by the revelation of social media posts he wrote in 2012, when in his late teens.
The posts came to light on day one of the first test at Lord's and after the match, the fast bowler was suspended from all international cricket - including the second test against New Zealand at Edgbaston - while the England & Wales Cricket Board investigates his case further.
Robinson apologised for the tweets, saying he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed", and he has found support from PM Johnson and Culture Secretary Olive Dowden, who insists they were clearly "offensive and wrong", but also "a decade old and written by a teenager".
"The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised," says Dowden. "The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again."
A spokesman for Johnson has doubled down on Dowden's protests.
"These were comments made more than a decade ago, written by someone as a teenager, and for which they have rightly apologised."
Meanwhile, a second England cricket player is under investigation for "historic offensive material" .
The ECB is looking into the situation, after Wisden.com published a tweet of a racist nature by an alleged English cricketer.
Wisden concealed the identity of the cricketer, as they were under the age of 16 at the time of the post.
"It has been brought to our attention that an England player has posted historic offensive material on their social media account," the ECB says.
"We are looking into it and will make a further comment in due course."