Shane Warne initially slammed his former team the Melbourne Stars for an “embarrassing” display on Saturday night against the Heat, but was further incensed after seeing Adam Zampa laugh with Marnus Labuschagne after being dismissed.
The Stars will limp into the BBL finals on a three-game losing streak following their 71-run drubbing at the hands of the AB de Villiers-inspired Brisbane Heat.
‘NO RESPECT’: Marnus Labuschagne 'spewing' after Steve Smith takedown
The South African great blasted 71 runs from 37 balls, including six sixes, at the MCG on Saturday night as the visitors posted 5-186 then bowled the disappointing hosts out for 115.
Man-of-the-match de Villiers also took the gloves in place of regular wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson and was involved in a run-out and the stumping of Adam Zampa (1).
But it was Zampa’s actions after his dismissal that again irked Warne.
Zampa was seen sharing a laugh with Australian ODI teammate Labuschagne as he walked off the ground.
“Not a lot of energy from Zampa to get back there, almost just conceded,” Adam Gilchrist said.
Warne wasn’t impressed.
“Give up. There’s just no effort, no energy to get back [in the crease].
“I don’t like this at all,” Warne added said in commentary.
“I said it was embarrassing — it’s getting worse. He should be showing disappointment at just getting out. I don’t like that.”
Former English captain Michael Vaughan also didn’t see the funny side.
“Zampa is out for one and he’s laughing with Marnus Labuschagne having a conversation. Your team are getting hammered,” he said in commentary.
Stars on three game losing streak
Melbourne's green team haven't won a game since they locked up top spot and head into Friday night's qualifying final against the second-placed side - either the Adelaide Strikers or Sydney Sixers - at the MCG with serious concerns.
But Stars coach David Hussey maintains he is unfazed by the lacklustre finish to the regular season.
"The real season starts now," Hussey said.
"It's a new game come Friday night and you'll see a different Melbourne Stars team.
"Fortunately we've qualified first and when we wake up and read the papers and listen to the radio we're still going to be finishing first, which should be celebrated."
Despite the public brave face, Hussey has plenty to be worried about behind closed doors.
Sandeep Lamichhane's unexpected international call-up for Nepal robs the Stars of a key spinner for the rest of the tournament.
Pakistani sensation Haris Rauf is not guaranteed to return from international duties for Friday night's match and his replacement, countryman Dilbar Hussain, struggled mightily in a trying debut.
Hussain finished with figures of 1-56 after opening the bowling and closing out the innings with a costly over that went for 22 runs, including three sixes.
Throw in a season-ending broken hand for Hilton Cartwright and a batting line-up that crumbled against Brisbane - Marcus Stoinis (17), Nic Maddinson (9), Seb Gotch (5) and Glenn Maxwell (1) all went cheaply - and a maiden BBL title seems a tall order.
"There's no complacency, there's no getting ahead of ourselves," Hussey said.
"We're just trying to get better and better each time and put on a good performance.
"Unfortunately that didn't happen (against the Heat)."
Brisbane were seventh going into the clash with three defeats in a row, but can still make the finals with a win against the Renegades at Marvel Stadium on Monday.