A professional cricketer has appeared in court accused of raping a woman.

Worcestershire CCC all-rounder Alex Hepburn, 21, faced Worcester Magistrates’ Court accused of two counts of rape.

During a brief hearing the court heard the alleged offences took place in Worcester on April 1 this year.

Hepburn, who wore a grey suit, white shirt and grey tie, spoke only to confirm his name, address and nationality of Australian.

 Cricketer Alex Hepburn, who has been charged with raping a woman, leaves Worcester Magistrates’ Court. (Aaron Chown/PA)Cricketer Alex Hepburn, who has been charged with raping a woman, leaves Worcester Magistrates’ Court (Aaron Chown/PA)

John Dove, prosecuting, told JPs the case could only be dealt with at the crown court.

Hepburn’s solicitor Jason Patel made no indication of plea on behalf of his client.

The defendant, of Priory Road, Malvern, Worcestershire was released on unconditional bail until January 4 when he is to appear at Worcester Crown Court.

Gareth Thomas, chair of the bench, told Hepburn: “As you have just heard, we are remanding you on unconditional bail to appear before Worcester Crown Court on Thursday January 4 at 9am.

“If you don’t go back to court at the right date and time you may commit an offence and you could be arrested, remanded and sent to prison.

“If you do commit an offence on bail your sentence will be greater.”

Hepburn, who is yet to play first class cricket for Worcestershire, has been suspended on full pay by his club.

In a statement, the club said: “As the matter is now subject to criminal proceedings the club is unable to provide any further comment at this stage.”

Worcestershire also confirmed it was dealing with a disciplinary matter involving director of cricket Steve Rhodes, which relates solely to his role at the club.

“The matter is ongoing so at this time there will be no further comment,” the club statement added.