Monday, June 27, 2022

Joe Clarke left England’s ODI squad for ‘cricket reasons’, not sexist messages

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Clarke’s omission from the Dutch series opens up the possibility of a future call-up despite outrage over his involvement in a “sexist and pathetic” group chat with convicted rapist Alex Hepburn

Clarke is one of the top homegrown white ball batters in the country but his presence in any England squad would cause controversy given his involvement in a misogynist WhatsApp group that arose during the trial of his former Worcestershire team-mate Alex Hepburn.

Joe Clarke has been overlooked for England’s forthcoming one-day series in the Netherlands – but only for cricket reasons.

Hepburn was found guilty in 2019 of raping a woman Clarke had consensual sex with earlier that same night after he brought her back to their shared apartment.

Clarke, who has since moved to Nottinghamshire, never did anything wrong on the night in question in 2017 but has been accused of showing little remorse for his role on the WhatsApp group, which the judge at Hepburn’s trial called “sexist and pathetic” labeled “.

In conversation with the Daily Telegraph Last week, Clarke revealed his “embarrassment and shame,” adding, “I’m glad I now have the opportunity to say how sorry I am for being involved in all of this.”

Rob Key, England’s new cricket director, recently said of Clarke: “People can’t be punished forever”. now I From what is known, the 26-year-old was considered for the three ODIs between June 17 and 22 in Amsterdam before being discounted purely on cricket grounds – opening the door for future selection.

With games in the Netherlands overlapping the second and third Tests against New Zealand, England have not selected an all-format player for the series, which will see first Australian Matthew Mott as white-ball coach.

The 14-man squad, led by Eoin Morgan, includes familiar faces in Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Jason Roy and Adil Rashid. There are also call-ups for Lancashire uncovered seaman Luke Wood and Gloucestershire fast bowler David Payne. But there’s no room for Lancashire leg spinner Matt Parkinson.

England’s ODI Squad: EJG Morgan (Captain), MM Ali, JC Buttler, BA Carse, SM Curran, LS Livingstone, DJ Malan, DA Payne, AU Rashid, JJ Roy, PD Salt, RJW Topley, DJ Willey, L Wood.

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