OSWESTRY Cricket Club has said it has turned down an “informal approach” from a third party about a convicted rapist joining the club.

The approach was made to investigate the possibility of former Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn signing on his release from prison.

Australian-born Hepburn, 25, was convicted of oral rape in 2019 following a second trial, and had seen an appeal against his conviction fail in 2020.

Now the Morda Road side has been moved to issue a statement confirming that an unnamed third party had asked if they would be interested in Hepburn joining the side on his release from prison.

Club chairman Chris Wiseman said the club's committee rejected the approach and would so do again if Hepburn himself applied to join the club on his release from prison.

He said: "Oswestry Cricket Club can confirm that an informal approach has been received from a third party as to the possibility of former Worcestershire cricketer, Alex Hepburn, training and/or playing at the club next season following his release from prison.

"No direct or informal approach has been made by the player himself.

"In the event that Hepburn were to make request and/or apply to join Oswestry Cricket Club, the committee has overwhelmingly decided that any such request or application would be refused."

The 25-year-old former all-rounder’s trial heard from former Oswestry and Worcestershire player Joe Clarke, who is now at Nottinghamshire.

The trial heard that the victim in Hepburn’s case had had consensual sex with Mr Clarke, who faced no charges.

Hepburn had found the woman asleep on a mattress after arriving at the flat “alone, drunk and frustrated”, and “saw his chance”, his sentencing hearing heard.

She only realised it was not Mr Clarke when Hepburn spoke in an Australian accent.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo last year, Mr Clarke said he would do “everything differently”.

It was also revealed during the case that Hepburn and Mr Clarke were part of a vile sexual conquests WhatsApp chat which was used as evidence in the trial.

Clarke said: “If I could go back and change what happened, I would, for all the parties involved. That thought runs through my mind every day.”