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Joe Clarke to face trial for affray following Powys incident

Nottinghamshire batter to attend hearing in July following not guilty plea

George Dobell
George Dobell
Joe Clarke in the field, Durham vs Nottinghamshire, Vitality Blast, Chester-le-Street, August 29, 2020

Joe Clarke in the field  •  Getty Images

Joe Clarke is set to face trial on a charge of affray following an incident in Powys last year. Clarke, the Nottinghamshire and England Lions batter, appeared at Welshpool Magistrates' Court on Thursday where he entered a not guilty plea to the charge.
He was granted unconditional bail prior to a direction hearing, which is scheduled to be heard in Mold Crown Court on July 16.
According to the Border Counties Advertizer, who first reported the story, Clarke appeared in court alongside family members Oliver Clarke, aged 30, Richard Clarke, aged 20, and Robert Clarke, aged 26. All faced the same charge in connection with an incident in Four Crosses in Montgomeryshire on July 5, 2020.
The timing of the news is not ideal for Clarke. He is, on form, arguably England's best uncapped T20 player - he is averaging in excess of 50 in this year's Vitality Blast with a strike rate over 200 - and might well have been considered for the current squad in normal circumstances.
But with the ECB keen to avoid further negative publicity following the debacle concerning players' historic social media posts, it may well be that England are unwilling to include Clarke.
In July 2019 he pleaded guilty to bringing the game into disrepute after Whatsapp messages he exchanged with team-mates at his former club, Worcestershire, were deemed to demonstrate a disrespectful attitude towards women. He was fined and informed that he would not be considered for England or England Lions selection for a period. While that period will long since have elapsed, it is unlikely he will be selected while this issue is outstanding.
"The club is aware of the situation involving Joe Clarke and will await the outcome of those proceedings in due course," Nottinghamshire said in a statement.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo