John Mooney closes the curtain on Irish cricket career
Three months before the World Twenty20, John Mooney, one of Ireland's most experienced cricketers, has announced his retirement from international cricket.
The 33-year-old has quit on the day he was bought at auction for £20,000 to take part in the inaugural Masters Champions League T20 tournament in the UAE at the end of next month, giving him one final big pay day.
Mooney said he was stepping down to devote more time to his new gym and personal training business but admitted it was becoming "increasingly difficult to spend long periods of time away from my wife and young family".
The Dubliner has suffered mental health problems for some years and left Ireland's tour of the West Indies in January 2014 but came back to play a full part in the World Cup campaign in Australasia 13 months later. He was also Ireland's leading wicket-taker in the World Twenty20 qualifiers last summer.
Mooney, who is expected to continue to make himself available for Leinster Lightning - he captained the team to all three inter-provincial trophies this year - played 182 times for Ireland and only Kevin O'Brien, William Porterfield and Gary Wilson of the current squad have played more.
He will be remembered for hitting the boundary which gave Ireland their greatest ever victory, against England in Bangalore at the 2011 World Cup finals, but his 10 wickets for 81 in the I-Cup final against Afghanistan in 2013 was a herculean effort.