JOHN MOONEY is leaving Ireland's tour of the Caribbean and flying home to Dublin to receive treatment for a stress-related illness, according to sources in Trinidad.
The North County all-rounder (above) took no part in last night's Super50 match against Jamaica and along with missing internationals against the West Indies later this month, he is also unlikely to feature in the World T20 finals which start in Bangladesh on March 17.
Mooney, who famously struck the winning runs to beat England at the 2011 World Cup, has been receiving help to manage his condition for some time and until now he has been able to continue playing at the highest level.
That is clearly no longer the case and a period away from the game now beckons for one of the most determined and passionate cricketers ever to represent Ireland.
The 31-year-old has endured a rollercoaster 12 months. In April he was banned for two matches by Cricket Ireland after an ill-advised comment on Twitter about the death of former British PM Margaret Thatcher, but he bounced back to take 10 wickets and claim the man-of-the-match award in the InterContinental Cup final in December.
Meanwhile, Ashley Giles' claims to become England's new team director were strengthened yesterday when his main rival for the role, Gary Kirsten, effectively ruled himself out.
South African Kirsten is currently in charge of the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, having resigned as coach of his country's national team last summer to spend more time at home with his family.
England's senior management team will meet today to discuss the make up of the squad for the forthcoming World T20 and, specifically, whether Kevin Pietersen should be included.