Former England star Nick Compton visits North London Cricket Club
- Credit: Stephen Gardiner
A former England Test opener is advising young cricketers who want a future in the sport to tread very carefully when they post on social media and try to imagine what their comments might look like in 10 years’ time.
Nick Compton, who opened the batting for England in 16 Tests and represented Middlesex and Somerset, was speaking after the suspension of Ollie Robinson from the current England team over posts he made when he was a teenager.
A number of other current England players are also being investigated for historic posts.
Compton warned today’s crop of young people who are serious about a future in sport to think before they post, saying: “Stay away from controversial opinions and remarks.
"It starts off as a quite innocent pastime and then something goes wrong and you regret it. If you think for a moment that’s going to happen, stay off social media.”
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The former England opener spent last Sunday morning coaching junior players at North London Cricket Club and held a Q&A session, sharing his experiences and recalling memories of when, as a 10-year-old, he scored 64 not out back in his native South Africa and suddenly thought professional cricket could be his future.
Compton also spoke of the difficulties facing today’s would-be sportsmen and women, adding: “I hate it when we look at the history. In that moment, what we were saying might have been acceptable. Whether it was right or wrong is another question, but it was okay then.
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"A player will say ‘That was the set of rules I had then, but under today’s rules I wouldn’t have done it'.’”
Compton says it is now more difficult than ever for young people in sport, adding: “It is very hard to do this, but think about what you're saying now might sound like in 10 years’ time. Ollie Robinson probably looks back and says ‘What was I saying then? I am not that human being now'.
"Sports heroes are such big influencers on younger kids. The safest thing to do is delete your account and concentrate on your batting - watch the ball!”