Ollie Robinson reflects on difficult 12 months

England paceman Ollie Robinson admitted that his growing list of injuries almost saw him quit cricket altogether this year.

England's seam attack, which includes Robinson, played a crucial role as the side stormed to an historic 2-0 series lead on their first tour of Pakistan for 17 years, with one Test remaining.

Despite docile, low-bouncing pitches, the England bowlers managed to take 20 wickets at both Rawalpindi and Multan.

However, for Robinson, the year as a whole has been far from straightforward. The 29-year-old was dropped from the squad following a disappointing winter in Australia and the West Indies, which alongside a back injury raised serious fitness concerns.

Robinson was left out for England's series against New Zealand and only recalled for the final two Tests of the summer against South Africa, but he worked hard to win back his place in the side and has excelled in Pakistan.

He admits at times he has questioned whether he would return to the Test team.

"It's probably the toughest 12 months I've had as a professional cricketer," Robinson told the BBC's Test Match Special.

"There were points when I didn't think I was going to play for England again, or play cricket again. I kept coming back to full fitness, then getting an injury or illness, then another injury.

"There was a point in June time when I thought, 'I might have to look at what else I can do here, I don't think I'm going to be able to carry on playing cricket'.

"It's been tough and there have been some dark days, but tours and series wins like this make it all worthwhile."

Robinson nursed a series of back injuries and also spent time out with Covid-19 during the domestic summer. However, he impressed for the England Lions against South Africa at Canterbury and was rewarded with a Test recall.

When asked about the nature of the injuries, he explained: "I had different types of scans.

"MRIs, X-rays. It was just a bit of wear and tear. Because there was so much inflammation, every time I got back to full fitness, the inflammation was there.

"It was jarring again and giving me another back spasm. I ended up having five injections, which took the inflammation away and allowed me to train a bit harder. Then it settled down.

"It was a strange one, because I felt it was career-ending, the way it felt. Luckily I got through it and it was OK."

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