A WORCESTERSHIRE cricketer has appeared in court charged with two counts of rape.

Alex Hepburn 21, was at Worcester Magistrates Court to face charges of raping a woman aged over 16.

The charges relate to an alleged incident on Saturday April 1.

Hepburn, who has been suspended by Worcestershire County Cricket Club on full pay, spoke only to confirm his name, address, age and nationality.

Dressed in a grey suit, white shirt and grey tie, Hepburn looked dejectedly up at the magistrates bench as they read out the charges.

He has not yet entered a plea.

Hepburn, of Priory Road, Malvern, was represented by Jason Patel, and was granted unconditional bail by the court after prosecutor John Dove said that the matter was unsuitable to be dealt with at the magistrates court.

He will next appear in court on Thursday January 4 when he will attend Worcester Crown Court at 9am.

The cricketer, who plays as an all-rounder at New Road, has made seven appearances for the county in limited overs formats and is currently suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the trial.

A Worcestershire County Cricket Club spokesman said: “Worcestershire CCC can confirm that Alex Hepburn was charged on the 9th November with two counts of rape following an investigation by West Mercia Police.

"Hepburn has been suspended on full pay pending further investigation and will next appear at Worcester Magistrates’ Court on 7 December 2017.

“As the matter is now subject to criminal proceedings the club is unable to provide any further comment at this stage.”