Joe Clarke has been overlooked for England’s upcoming one-day series in the Netherlands – but only on cricketing grounds.
Clarke is one of the best domestic white-ball batters in the country but his presence in any England squad would create controversy given his involvement in a misogynistic WhatsApp group that emerged during the trial of his former Worcestershire team-mate Alex Hepburn.
Hepburn was convicted in 2019 of raping a woman that Clarke had consensual sex with earlier on the same night after he had her brought back to the flat they shared.
Clarke, who has since moved to Nottinghamshire, was never found to have done anything wrong on the night in question in 2017 but has been accused of showing little remorse for his part in the WhatsApp group that the judge at Hepburn’s trial branded “sexist and pathetic”.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph last week, Clarke revealed his “embarrassment and shame”, adding: “I’m happy I have the chance now to say how sorry I am for the involvement in all of it.”
Rob Key, England’s new director of cricket, recently said “people can’t be punished forever” in reference to Clarke. Now i understands the 26-year-old was considered for the three ODIs in Amsterdam between 17-22 June before being discounted purely on cricketing grounds – opening the door for future selection.
With the games in the Netherlands overlapping with the second and third Tests against New Zealand, England have not picked any all-format players for the series that will be Australian Matthew Mott’s first as white-ball coach.
The 14-man squad captained by Eoin Morgan contains familiar faces in Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Jason Roy and Adil Rashid. There are also call-ups for the uncapped Lancashire seamer Luke Wood and Gloucestershire fast bowler David Payne. But there is 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.