Ireland news December 7, 2015

Mooney retires from internationals

ESPNcricinfo staff

John Mooney secured one of Ireland's most famous victories, over England at the 2011 World Cup © Getty Images

Ireland allrounder John Mooney has retired from international cricket with immediate effect. Mooney is one of only four Ireland players to have appeared at three World Cups and last represented his country in their Intercontinental Cup win over Namibia in October.

Last year Mooney spoke publicly about his battle with depression, but he returned to play a full part in Ireland's World Cup campaign. Mooney, 33, said that he now wanted to focus on running his gym and personal training business, as well as spend more time with his family.

"I've decided to call time on what has been a wonderful career in the green of Ireland," Mooney said. "At this stage of my career, I'm beginning to think about what comes next, especially commitments to my new gym and personal training business. I've always given 100% to the team, and it wouldn't be fair on them to keep going if I'm not fully committed.

"I've also been playing internationally for 14 years and over the past few seasons have found that the intensity and demands of the modern game have placed a considerable strain on my body. It's also become increasingly difficult to spend such long periods of time away from my wife and young family."

Mooney was capped 182 times by Ireland, playing in 64 ODIs and 27 T20 internationals, and memorably helped his side to complete a famous win over England in Bangalore at the 2011 World Cup by scoring an unbeaten 33 from 30 balls. That victory, reminiscent of Ireland's football World Cup giant killing of Italy in 1994, helped ignite a wave of support for the Associate nations and ensured their presence at the 2015 tournament.

He was also in the middle to help finish off Ireland's win over West Indies in Nelson as they narrowly failed to qualify for the quarter-finals this time around.

"I've some fantastic memories having played in three World Cups - the first of which in 2007 included my elder brother Paul," he said. "In 2011 I also had what I described as my 'Ray Houghton moment' hitting the winning runs against England."

Mooney was a valuable presence in the lower middle order and scored more than 2500 runs for Ireland, including a best of 107 against Netherlands. He took 144 wickets with his bustling medium pace, memorably helping to seal the Intercontinental Cup title in 2013 with 10 for 81 against Afghanistan.

Ireland captain William Porterfield said: "There are few players who have worn the Irish jersey with as much pride as John Mooney. His passion, fighting qualities and enthusiasm meant he was always someone I was glad was playing for me rather than in the opposition ranks.

"He would always put the team first no matter what you asked him to do, should that be opening the bowling or fourth change he always put the side first. He epitomises what it means to put on the Irish jersey.

"Of course he'll always be remembered for the game against England in Bangalore but for me his bowling display in the Intercontinental Cup win over Afghanistan summed up for me what he was all about. He led the attack after Trent Johnston went off injured and took 10 for 81 on a batting paradise in difficult conditions. I would personally like to thank him for everything that he has done for Irish cricket."

Ireland coach John Bracewell called Mooney "an iconic figure for Irish cricket" and praised his "passionate and talented displays" for Ireland.

"His longevity in a 14 year career is testament to both his talent and his consistency - he rarely let his team down and it's no coincidence that he was involved in so many key moments in Ireland's triumphs over the years," Bracewell said. "I'd like to thank him for his efforts over an illustrious career, and wish him and his family all the very best in the future."

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