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Zimbabwe opening bowler Tinashe Panyangara has been kicked out of the host nation's camp for ill-discipline and disruptive behaviour, apparently for taunting his team's batsmen with a cricket.com.au video of Mitchell Johnson's bouncers.
A Zimbabwe Cricket spokesman said Panyangara's behaviour was "disruptive" in the build-up to Monday's tri-series opener against Australia, but did not provide specific details.
Host broadcaster SuperSport's commentators claimed on air that the Zimbabwe quick was suspended for sharing a video compilation of Johnson's short-pitched bouncers, which is believed to be this website's 'Mitch Johnson's Thunderbolts' package.
"Panyangara has downloaded one of these two-minute packages of Mitchell Johnson's bouncer after bouncer and batsman leaping and ducking and bobbing and weaving and being hit, and he's sent it – privately on I think WhatsApp – to the batsmen in the squad with a message saying 'good luck, fellas'," SuperSport's commentators said.
"Which was deemed to be contrary to the breeding of good team spirit and he's been expelled from the camp. Do you think it's an over-reaction?"
Panyangara was the bowler who had one of his deliveries dispatched back over his head and into the SuperSport commentary box window by Johnson during Australia's 198-run win on Monday. The delivery cracked the glass, showing commentators in shards of glass.
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Panyangara, the team's opening bowler, conceded 68 runs from seven wicketless overs during Monday's encounter.
The 28-year-old was fined his match fee from Monday's game - understood to be US$1000 - and banished to train with the Zimbabwe A squad which is preparing for a tour of Bangladesh next month.
A statement from Zimbabwe Cricket said Panyangara's breach was for "behaviour that the national team disciplinary committee found to be disruptive in the build-up to the first ODI of the triangular series, which Zimbabwe played against Australia on Monday".
Panyangara is the latest victim of Zimbabwe coach Steve Mangongo’s crackdown on ill-discipline as he attempts to exert control over an under-performing squad.
The team’s most accomplished player, batsman and former wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor, was dropped for Zimbabwe’s the final ODI against South Africa last week and the coach publicly defended his decision by saying he was not prepared to allow the national side to become a "boozer’s XI".
However, other sources close to the team have told cricket.com.au that a more likely reason for Taylor’s exclusion was that he had objected to Mangongo’s edict that all players – even those who live in Harare – should enter a team camp for the duration of the current tri-series involving Australia and South Africa.
It is understood Taylor objected privately to the coach, claiming the controlled environment – where players were not allowed to bring private vehicles and instead travel together on the team bus – would prove disruptive to his preparation routine and unfair on those unable to stay at home with their families.
Zimbabwe have won just six of their past 30 ODIs over the past three years – against Bangladesh (2), Afghanistan (2), Pakistan and New Zealand – and were thumped by Australia by 198 runs in their opening match of the current tri-series at the Harare Sports Ground.
Zimbabwe will play their next ODI of the triangular series against South Africa on Friday.