ICC World T20 2012 August 16, 2012

Ireland lose Mooney for World Twenty20

Ger Siggins

John Mooney, the man who hit the winning runs for Ireland against England in the 2011 World Cup, has been ruled out of the ICC World Twenty20 due to a serious finger fracture. He suffered the injury when fielding in Irish club cricket, having returned to the game as a bowler while still resting a dislocated thumb sustained last month.

"I'm devastated to be missing out on the rest of the season and the Twenty20 World Cup", Mooney told ESPNcricinfo. "I was playing as a bowler for my club North County at the weekend as I was resting my thumb from batting since I dislocated it against Afghanistan.

"I took a sharp chance low to the ground at first slip off Eddie Richardson and looked down to see the top part of my middle finger was floppy. I knew it wasn't good."

A visit to a finger specialist on Tuesday gave Mooney, who has won 134 Ireland caps, the news he was dreading. "He confirmed I have fractured it and ripped the tendon from the bone," Mooney said. "I'm in a splint now for 12 weeks where hopefully the tendon will reconnect with the bone. It's particularly hard to take as I had to fly home from the qualifiers early due to my hamstring injury.

Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth said the initial hope had been that an uncomplicated break might have had Mooney back playing by September. "We had hoped that it was just a break, and he might have been able to be back playing in 3-4 weeks", Holdsworth said.

"But he has damaged the ligaments and so we've reluctantly had to rule him out. It's a great shame and a setback to him, especially as he was injured in the qualifiers in Dubai. He's such a big part of the team and we really want him to be there."

Mooney has been a key member of Phil Simmons' Ireland side since the 2007 World Cup, where he made just one appearance. The combative Dubliner famously struck the final blow as Ireland beat England at Bangalore in last year's World Cup.

But an injury sustained while diving for catch in the T20 qualifiers in Dubai in March ruled him out of early season with his club. He recovered and played a short trial with Sussex in June, before he returned early after deciding a county career was not for him.

The Irish squad will be released at 9am local time on Friday, with England-bound Boyd Rankin certain to be included.