HARARE — Tinashe Panyangara has been removed from Zimbabwe’s cricket squad for their tri-series, for allegedly sharing a video of Mitchell Johnson bowling during the Ashes with team-mates via their group WhatsApp chat.
Panyangara was also fined $1 000 for the alleged offence, with a Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) spokesman confirming that the bowler’s “indiscipline” meant he would play no further part in the remaining games.
While ZC’s official statement made no mention of the specific reason for Panyangara’s removal, Zimbabwe’s team disciplinary committee found Panyangara’s actions to be “disruptive in the build-up to the first ODI [one-day international] of the triangular series,” which they lost by 198 runs on Monday.
Johnson took one wicket, but conceded only seven runs in six overs, making frequent use of his bouncer and beating Zimbabwe’s batsmen for pace on several occasions.
The video is a highlights package of Johnson’s short-pitched barrage against England.
The sharing of such a video might be brushed off as a bit of bantering among teammates, albeit with a gallows humour element to it.
The humourless response from Zimbabwe’s coach and team management, however, means the team will be without their most experienced seamer.
With 34 one-day caps, Panyangara has played more than double the number of ODIs as Shingi Masakadza, the next most experienced specialist seamer.
Host broadcaster SuperSport’s commentators claimed on air that the Zimbabwe quick bowler was suspended for sharing a video compilation of Johnson’s short-pitched bouncers.