Nottinghamshire wicket-keeper Tom Moores gets an opportunity to stake his claim for international honours © Getty
Nottinghamshire’s wicket-keeper Tom Moores and Surrey all-rounder Will Jacks have been called up for the England Lions tour to India following the removal of Joe Clarke and Tom Kohler-Cadmore from the party for disciplinary reasons.
Following details released last week in the trial of former Worcestershire player Alex Hepburn, who faced two counts of rape relating to an incident in April 2017, Clarke and Kohler-Cadmore have been removed from the Lions party by the ECB’s new Director of England Cricket, Ashley Giles. The former spinner has wasted no time in making good on his promise to be firm on disciplinary matters.
During the five-day trial, a jury heard how Hepburn, Clarke and Kohler-Cadmore were involved in a Whatsapp group which tracked on a sexual conquest “game” they were involved in where they rated women they had slept with out of ten. On Friday, the judge in Hepburn’s case dismissed the jury after they failed to reach a verdict. The Crown Prosecution Service now has two weeks to decide whether to pursue a retrial. Hepburn has been released on bail and a provisional retrial date has been listed for April 8.
The decision to remove Clarke and Kohler-Cadmore from the Lions tour is a setback for both their international ambitions – Clarke in particular has been close to senior selection in recent times – and proves that poor conduct off the field will not be tolerated by the ECB, particularly in light of the high-profile incident last year involving Ben Stokes and Alex Hales outside a Bristol nightclub. The decision does, however, provide Moores and Jacks with an opportunity to stake their claim for international honours.
The 22 year-old Moores, son of former England coach Peter, had a consistent season with the bat in all formats for Nottinghamshire in 2018, including compiling a maiden Championship hundred, while Jacks, 20, is highly rated at County Champions Surrey and put in some eye catching performances in white-ball cricket last summer, including a brilliant hundred in the Royal London One-Day Cup in just his third first-team appearance.
The England Lions party departed for India today and will play India ‘A’ in a five-match 50-over series, beginning on 23 January in Thiruvananthapuram, before two unofficial ‘Tests’ in early February.