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Joe Clarke feels ’embarrassment and shame’ over past involvement in WhatsApp group with convicted rapist Alex Hepburn | Cricket News


Nottinghamshire’s Joe Clarke discussed sexual conquests on the WhatsApp group in 2017 and was accused by the ECB of discrediting the game; Clarke says: “It’s not about playing for England. It’s about owning what I did, that I made a mistake and what I did was wrong.”

Last update: 24/05/22 18:26

Joe Clarke was made unavailable for England selection in 2019 after being accused of discrediting the game by the ECB

Joe Clarke, from Nottinghamshire, feels “embarrassment and shame” over his past involvement in a vulgar WhatsApp group with convicted rapist Alex Hepburn.

Clarke, 25, used the messaging app to discuss sexual conquests with former Worcestershire teammates Hepburn and Tom Kohler-Cadmore in 2017.

Hepburn was jailed for five years in 2019 after raping a woman who had previously had consensual sex with Clarke.

Clarke was not charged with any wrongdoing that night, but was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board with discrediting the game and making him unavailable for England selection.

Talk to The telegraphClarke said of her past actions: “I’ve been thinking a lot. It’s embarrassing and shameful to have been involved in what was a terrible thing.

“It upsets me to see it now, so I totally understand why people get upset watching it. It was completely wrong. It doesn’t reflect who I am now.

“It’s not something I forgot at all. I’m glad to now have the chance to say how sorry I was to have been involved in all of this.”

Joe Clarke feels 'embarrassment and shame' over past involvement in WhatsApp group with convicted rapist Alex Hepburn | Cricket News

I think you can’t penalize people forever in life. I know we want to do that sometimes, the whole world will never forgive anyone right now. But I think sometimes you can do your time and you can come back.

England cricket chief executive Rob Key on Joe Clarke

New England men’s cricket chief executive Rob Key said last month he would be open to selecting Clarke in the future.

Clarke added: “It’s not about playing for England. It’s about owning what I did, that I made a mistake and what I did was wrong.”

Of the victim, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, he said: “I feel like I let her down. She was finally in my company and counted on me for her safety and I don’t did not provide it.

“I hope she found the happiness she now deserves and managed to move on.”

Hepburn’s rape trial judge said WhatsApp messages “demean women” and “trivialize rape”.




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