WORCESTERSHIRE has announced the departure of long-serving director of cricket Steve Rhodes – but a wall of silence remains over why.

The end of 33 years at New Road for Rhodes was marked with fewer words, 30, in the club’s brief release.

The statement read: “Steve Rhodes has left WCCC with immediate effect. We thank him for his 33 years as a player, coach and Director of Cricket. We wish him well in the future.”

The only addition was that the club would make "no further comment at this time". 

The news comes 15 days after ESPN broke accusations that Rhodes had hid from the club that Worcestershire’s Alex Hepburn had been facing rape allegations. Hepburn was subsequently charged.

On the back of that story, the club confirmed it had started disciplinary proceedings against Rhodes in the same release that confirmed details of Hepburn’s charge.

The stories were later separated on the club’s official website.

When contacted by your Worcester News, Worcestershire CCC's marketing executive Carrie Lloyd reiterated the club's stance on not commenting further.

On November 30, we tried to reach chairman Stephen Taylor through two separate club representatives, one of which said Taylor had refused our request to obtain his contact details. 

The number we last used to contact Rhodes on November 29 is no longer connecting. 

Rhodes had been due to coach England at the Under 19 World Cup in January and February but the ECB said in November that would "not be happening".

He signed for Worcestershire in 1985 after first playing for his native Yorkshire. 

Rhodes scored 13,300 runs in 391 first-class matches at an average of 33.16, including 11 tons and 65 half-centuries, during 20 seasons playing for the County.

As the club's main wicketkeeper, he took 991 catches and claimed 104 stumpings in that time.

Rhodes also appeared in home series against New Zealand and South Africa and an Ashes tour of Australia during 11 Tests for England in 1994 and 1995.

He also figured in nine one-day internationals for his nation.

Rhodes was added to the County's backroom staff in 2005 as assistant coach to Tom Moody.

He took over when the Aussie left in mid-season before becoming director of cricket in 2006.

Bradford-born Rhodes guided Worcestershire to the 40-over title in 2007 and secured a sixth County Championship promotion this year by topping Division Two.