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Ireland star hit by stress-related illness

By Ian Callender

John Mooney is flying home from Ireland's tour of the West Indies with a stress-related illness.

The North County all-rounder, who played in the 114 runs defeat to Guyana last Friday, was left out of the side for last night's second game in the Super50 Regional tournament in Trinidad, against Jamaica.

It is a big blow for the Ireland team with their preparations for next month's World Twenty20 in full swing and Mooney, a regular in the shortest format, was expected to play a full part. Just seven weeks ago, in the Intercontinental Cup final, Mooney was Ireland's man of the match after taking 10 wickets as Ireland won their third trophy of the year by beating Afghanistan.

But last week, Mooney was out for nine, bowled three overs for 21 runs and dropped a catch against Guyana and over the weekend, the illness, for which he has been receiving treatment for some time, flared up and the decision was taken to send him home to be with his family.

Mooney, who celebrates his 32nd birthday next Monday, has played 154 games for Ireland since his debut in 2001 but has been a regular only since 2009. Since then, though, he has played in 112 of Ireland's 138 matches.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said last night: "Cricketing matters come a poor second where health issues are concerned.

The most important thing for John is to get the support and care he needs to aid his recovery; Cricket Ireland will endeavour to do all that it can to aid this process."

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