Robinson was an opener very much in the mould of Geoffrey Boycott, content to let many off-target balls go by before he started to accumulate runs. He made a promising start to his England career, with a 160 in the second test in 1984-5 in India at Delhi, and two big centuries against Australia in the 1985 Ashes. He was found out however by the vaunted West Indian pace attack in the 1985-6 series, much like many other England batsmen, who struggled for runs. Robinson managed 72 in eight innings. He returned to form however with a 166 against Pakistan the following year.
He played for Nottinghamshire from 1978 to 1999, receiving his first team cap in 1983. Robinson was club captain between 1988 and 1995, and was made a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1986. Tim Robinson is a former pupil of Manshead Upper School in Caddington, Bedfordshire.
Robinson was appointed to the First-Class Umpires List in 2007.