03-02-17 by Spotlight Zimbabwe

‘Psycho’: Zim cricketers in explosive social media spat

Two former Zimbabwean internationals have gone to war in a crazy Facebook exchange about the country’s dismal on-field form of late.

Mark Vermeulen and Brendan Taylor engaged in a scathing back-and-forth on Wednesday after Zimbabwe were humiliated in an ODI against Afghanistan.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 54 in just 13.5 overs, the shortest innings time-wise in one-day international history.

Taylor, who played 23 Tests and 167 ODIs for his country, defended the team, saying: “Ex players and commentators always sit back and chip away because it’s easy watching from the comfort of their homes or from a commentary box but forget how tough it can be in the middle.”

Vermeulen and Taylor. Image: Getty

But Vermeulen took exception to Taylor’s comments, and that’s when things exploded.

“I can’t believe you are supporting a pathetic effort by our national team,” he ranted.

“If I was in the team that was bowled out for 54 I would be totally embarrassed and would just shut the f*** up and get in the nets instead of posting f***ing sh** like this.”

Taylor wasn’t having any of it, biting back in a big way.

“Here we go! Coming from someone who is chemically imbalanced…You my friend are what a true embarrassment looks like.

“Take a look in the mirror on what you have done for yourself and your country, apart from burning down one of the few establishments we had.”

Taylor was referring to an incident in 2006 where Vermeulen set fire to Zimbabwe’s cricket academy following his non-selection in the national side.

Vermeulen was acquitted of arson in 2008, deemed to be suffering psychiatric problems resulting from a blow to the head he suffered in Australia in 2004 (which you can see in the video above).

Vermeulen also took exception to another Facebook user’s comments and told Taylor to “be careful what you say about me u (sic) little f***.”

Taylor posted screenshots of the conversation on Twitter, calling Vermeulen a “psycho”.

Vermeulen has a history of behavioural problems.

In the 1990s he once took the stumps from the field and locked himself in the change rooms after getting out in a school game.

He threw a ball at a group of spectators during an English club game in 2006, receiving a 10-year ban for his troubles.

He was then banned for 37 years from Zimbabwean cricket in 2015 for racist comments on a Facebook post written by black cricketer Prosper Utseya.

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