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Mooney speaks about Zimbabwean article

Ireland fast-bowler concerned Zimbabwe Herald story could deter people from talking about mental illness

Ireland's John Mooney has spoken about a Zimbabwean newspaper article that has been slammed by his country's cricket board as a "vicious personal attack" on the fast bowler.

Published in the Zimbabwe Herald this week, the offending article made a connection between Mooney's battle with depression and his honesty over a controversial catch he took in Ireland's narrow win over Zimbabwe last Saturday.

Highlights of Ireland's win over Zimbabwe

Last year, Mooney spoke openly about his mental illness in a bid to raise awareness about the issue among other cricketers.

Quick Single: Mooney reveals battle with depression

On Tuesday, Cricket Ireland said they were considering "possible action" over the story and had contacted the International Cricket Council about a possible course of action.

Cricket Ireland's Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said the newspaper had "demonstrated breath-taking crassness and a gross error of editorial judgement" in publishing the piece.

Quick Single: Ireland consider action over Mooney article

Zimbabwe's stand-in captain for the match, wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor, issued an apology to Mooney on behalf of his team.

Mooney, who is in Adelaide preparing for Ireland's must-win match against Pakistan on Sunday, posted a comment on his Facebook page thanking Taylor and the Zimbabweans for their apology.

He said the article "means absolutely nothing to me", but was worried it would deter other sufferers from talking about their mental illness. 

"Last night I texted Brendan Taylor to thank him and his team for their apology," Mooney's post read.

"They are great blokes and they didn't have to do that, because I know the man who wrote that article does not represent their team.

"The main thing that gets to me about his article is that it might prevent somebody from getting the help they need in the future.

"The reason I spoke to the press about my struggles was to promote mental health issues. Using the fact I'm a sportsman to reach people who feel they can't tell people their problems.

"Let me just say the day I told people my issues I felt a huge sigh of relief.

"I don't want people to see this terrible article and say 'oh I'm not telling anyone, people will slag me off, or my name will be tarnished'.

"People will help you, people who you least expect will give you strength.

"Life will get better not worse.

"I really wanted to get through this tournament without writing anything on mental health as I've been so focused on my cricket, but unfortunately I've had to do this short piece.

"Thank you again for all your support, that man's article means absolutely nothing to me, my only concern is beating Pakistan on Sunday."

Mooney has played all five of Ireland's matches at this World Cup to help them move to the brink of a berth in the quarter-finals.

Victory over Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday would see the Irish qualify for the quarters for the first time, while a loss will likely see them finish fifth in Pool B and miss the knockout stages.

Quick Single: Quarter-final scenarios explained 

"We have some good time to get ready for what will be the biggest game in the history of Irish cricket," Mooney wrote.

"Trust me; we are all so pumped for this it's going to be great either way."

Note: Mooney's statement has been edited slightly for readability purposes