OSWESTRY-based cricketer Joe Clarke has been fined following his involvement in a WhatsApp group chat which surfaced during the trial of former Worcestershire County Cricket player Alex Hepburn.

Hepburn was found guilty of raping a sleeping woman in 2017 back in April, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Clarke has since been fined £2,000 after being reprimanded by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) for his involvement in the group chat.

Clarke and teammate Tom Kohler-Cadmore pleaded guilty to charges against them for bringing the game into disrepute.

Neither of the two have been charged with any criminal offence.

In a statement released after the charge, Clarke said: “With the CDC proceedings completed I would like to apologise to everyone concerned for my involvement in the WhatsApp group.

“I acknowledge that what I did fell well below the standards expected of a professional sportsman. I am relieved I can now put this chapter behind me. I am extremely grateful for the guidance and support I have received from the PCA, Phoenix Management and Nottinghamshire CCC during this difficult time.

“I have learned a great deal over the past two years and I am thankful that I can now move forward and focus wholly on the rest of the season. I hope I can end the year on a positive note with Notts."

In the WhatsApp group, Hepburn posted rules of a sexual conquest game and was found guilty of raping a woman who had slept with Clarke consensually earlier in the night.