A professional cricketer accused of raping a woman has appeared in court.
Alex Hepburn was released on unconditional bail until his next hearing on January 4.
During the brief hearing at Worcester Magistrates’ Court, the 21-year-old spoke only to confirm his name, address and nationality, Australian.
The court heard that the alleged offences involving the Worcestershire all-rounder happened on April 1 this year.
Hepburn’s solicitor Jason Patel gave no indication of how he will plead to the two counts of rape.
John Dove, prosecuting, told JPs the case could only be dealt with at 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, of Priory Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, is yet to play first class cricket for Worcestershire and 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.’