Joe Clarke and Tom Kohler-Cadmore part of WhatsApp 'sexual conquest' group dropped from England Lions squad for India tour

Joe Clarke and Tom Kohler-Cadmore part of WhatsApp ‘sexual conquest’ group dropped from England Lions squad for India tour

England Lions are due to face India A in a five-match 50-overs series before two unofficial 'Tests'.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore
Tom Kohler-Cadmore of Yorkshire. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Joe Clarke and Tom Kohler-Cadmore have been reportedly dropped from England Lions squad for the tour of India. The team is set to depart for the subcontinent on Saturday. The decision comes in the wake of the recent sex scandal that has rocked English cricket. According to an English news outletEngland & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) took the decision after learning about Clarke and Kohler-Cadmore’s involvement in a WhatsApp group which is one of the biggest pieces of evidence in the ongoing rape trial of Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn.

Hepburn has been accused of raping a woman in 2017. It was alleged that Hepburn had raped an unnamed girl in April 2017, having entered his teammate Joe Clarke’s bed while she was sleeping. However, Hepburn has vehemently denied the accusations and had insisted that he had consensual sex with the alleged victim. The Australia-born cricketer now faces a retrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict on Friday on two counts of rape after a week-long trial at Worcester Crown Court. The Crown Prosecution Service has two weeks to make a decision over a possible retrial.

It was during the trial, the court found out that Hepburn, Clarke and Kohler-Cadmore were involved in a sexual contest “game”, keeping a record of the women they had slept with and rating them out of ten. As soon as the evidence was put in front of the jurors, Hepburn broke down, saying he was “completely embarrassed” at comments he had made within it. “It was nothing more than immature chat between a group of friends,” he said as per Telegraph Sport. “No thought went into it.”

On the other hand, neither Clarke nor Kohler-Cadmore were accused of any wrongdoing. However, their involvement in the WhatsApp group named ‘sexual conquest’ compelled the ECB to take the big decision.

Talented duo face inquiry:

Clarke nor Kohler-Cadmore are two of the most highly-rated youngsters in English cricket. Both the players rose through the ranks at the Worcestershire academy and have been tipped for bigger things in future. Clarke has trained with the full Test squad and came close to making his debut in the summer of 2018 during the series against India. On the other hand, Kohler-Cadmore is known for his expertise in limited-overs cricket.

Both the youngsters could face disciplinary action with the new director of England cricket, Ashley Giles, warning in his first press conference this week that he will take a hard line on discipline. Giles has already given a big indication by dropping them for the England Lions squad.

Meanwhile, England Lions are due to face India A in a five-match 50-overs series beginning in Thiruvananthapuram on January 23, before two unofficial ‘Tests’ against the same opposition in early February.

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