Worcestershire’s director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, has left the club with immediate effect, in the wake of an internal investigation into the circumstances of the arrest of allrounder Alex Hepburn, who was charged with two counts of rape last month.
Rhodes, a legend of the club with more than three decades of service as a player and coach, was put on indefinite leave by Worcestershire (and relieved of his duties as head coach of the England Under-19 squad) after it emerged that he had fail to report Hepburn’s arrest in a timely fashion.
The club said in a statement: “We thank him for his 33 years as a player, coach and Director of Cricket. We wish him well in the future.”
It is alleged that, when Hepburn was first arrested on April 1, he approached Rhodes for assistance. Rhodes agreed not to pass on details of the allegation to the club’s board and, while the investigation continued, Hepburn was selected for the first team (in T20 cricket) and signed a one-year contract extension with the club.
News that he had subsequently been charged resulted in the matter coming to the attention of the club and the ECB. It is understood they were told on November 9 and 10.
Hepburn, who is suspended on full pay, appeared at Worcester Crown Court on December 7, where he was released on unconditional bail until his hearing commences at 9am on January 4.
Rhodes, who kept wicket for England in 11 Tests, had been in charge of Worcestershire since 2006, having played for the county from 1985 to 2004.
The club will be making no further comment.
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