Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Zimbabwe head coach Stephen Mangongo has announced that he will not tolerate any “childish” behaviour after he decided to expel pace bowler Tinashe Panyangara from the ODI squad.
Panyangara will not represent Zimbabwe for the remainder of the ongoing ODI tri-series against South Africa and Australia since he shared a video of Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson’s bouncer barrage against England during the last Ashes series with his team-mates via their Whatsapp group chat. In addition to being dropped from the squad, Panyangara was also fined US$1,000 for his actions.
“In any sport, to post a video of the opposition annihilating another team will not be tolerated,” Mangongo told ESPNcricinfo. “I was perplexed that a senior bowler behaved in such a childish manner. On the eve of such a serious match, you don’t do that.”
During the first match of the ODI tri-series, which featured Zimbabwe and Australia, Johnson took one wicket, but only gave away seven runs off his six overs. He also struck captain Elton Chigumbura on the helmet towards the end of the match.
However, Mangongo made it clear that he was “not making an example of Panyangara”, but instead simply “taking action where it needed to be taken”. He added that Panyangara has not been banned for an extended period of time. “After the tri-series, he will be back and that’s it.”
Panyangara is now training with Zimbabwe A in preparation for the national team’s tour of Bangladesh in late October.
Despite Panyangara being Zimbabwe’s most experienced pace bowler, Mangongo stated that the team can cope without him since they have numerous replacements, including Luke Jongwe, Neville Madziva, Shingi Masakadza, Brian Vitori and the uncapped Cuthburt Musoko.
“We have eight other bowlers so I am not worried about who comes in or who goes out; we have heavy competition in the bowling department,” he said. “There are not vast differences between the bowlers we have. We are not going to be missing Dale Steyn. Tinashe conceded more runs in Harare than he did in Bulawayo.
“We are a work in progress and we are playing against the big operators in world cricket. We are determined to improve so that is what we are working on. And we are working very hard.”
Mangongo was also impressed that four players had decided to train on Tuesday, which was Zimbabwe’s day off.
“Brendan Taylor was at the head of that group so that was pleasing to see,” Mangongo said. “Everybody is working hard and trying to improve. We cannot fold our arms and do nothing; if we do that, we are not doing our jobs.”
However, according to insiders within the Zimbabwean camp, players are starting to get frustrated with Mangongo’s strict ideology. There have also been rumours that the national team’s morale is starting to decline at a rapid rate.
“He is abusing his power beyond comprehension,” an insider said. “There is every chance the players will protest at some stage but for now, they are just waiting to see whether anything will change.”