Australia vice-captain Shane Watson has left the tour of India, just hours after he and three team-mates were dropped from the third Test for failing to complete a feedback exercise on the side's faltering form.
Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were told they would not be considered for this week's must-win match in Mohali after they failed to provide coach Mickey Arthur with a presentation on how the tourists could improve on their defeats in the first two Tests.
As the cricketing world was digesting what seems a dire breakdown in relations between those players and the management, it was revealed that Watson was leaving India to return home. Watson's wife is pregnant with the couple's first child and it is understood a contingency was always in place for him to leave the tour early if necessary.
There has, though, been no word from Cricket Australia about whether he will come back to join his fellow exiles in being available for the fourth Test in Delhi. Either way, this episode is an embarrassing one for the Baggy Greens during one important tour and a matter of months before the Ashes trip to England.
Arthur, who came to the decision in concert with captain Michael Clarke and team manager Gavin Dovey, is likely to have staked a huge amount of capital on the decision.
"This is a line in the sand," Arthur told reporters after announcing the sanction. "We pride ourselves on attitude. We have given the players a huge amount of latitude to get culture and attitude right.
"We believe that those behaviours are not consistent with what we want to do with this team, how we want to take this team to be the best in the world. I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four players are not available for selection for this Test match."
Former Australia captain Allan Border said: "It seems a bit of a strong measure for a coach or captain to take. I'm surprised that's the penalty for something so mundane. It seems like it was on a schoolboy tour or something. It's an over the top reaction.
"I haven't seen anything quite like this....where you have basically refused to fill out a performance review, it's the first time I've ever heard of it."
Former Test batsman Mark Waugh added: "I'm stunned. I've never heard of this sort of thing before at top level in any sport. It's not under sixes, this is Test cricket...there would have been a better way."