juin 29, 2022

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

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Nottinghamshire’s Joe Clarke discussed sexual conquests on WhatsApp group in 2017 and was charged by ECB for bringing game into disrepute; Clarke says: « This is not about playing for England. This is about owning what I did, that I made a mistake and what I did was wrong. »

Last Updated: 24/05/22 6:26pm

Joe Clarke was made unavailable for England selection in 2019 after being charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the ECB

Nottinghamshire’s Joe Clarke 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 team-mates Hepburn and Tom Kohler-Cadmore back in 2017.

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

Clarke was not accused of any wrongdoing on that night but was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board for bringing the game into disrepute and made unavailable for England selection.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Clarke said of his past actions: « I have done a lot of reflecting. It is embarrassment and shame that I was involved in what was a terrible thing.

« It upsets me seeing it now so I completely understand why people get upset looking at it. It was completely wrong. It does not reflect the person I am now.

« It is not something I have forgotten about at all. I’m happy I have the chance now to say how sorry I am for the involvement in all of it. »

I think you can’t penalise people forever in life. I know we want to do that at times, the whole world will never forgive anyone for anything at the moment. But I think sometimes you can do your time and you can come back.

England managing director of cricket, Rob Key, on Joe Clarke

New managing director of England men’s cricket Rob Key said last month that he would be open to Clarke being picked in the future.

Clarke added: « This is not about playing for England. This is about owning what I did, that I made a mistake and what I did was wrong. »

On the victim, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, he said: « I feel like I let her down. She was ultimately in my company and relied on me for her safety and I did not provide that.

« I hope that she has found the happiness that she deserves now and has managed to move on. »

The judge at Hepburn’s rape trial said the WhatsApp messages « demeaned women » and « trivialised rape ».

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