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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ireland beat Zimbabwe and the harsh comments of Robson Sharumo on Mooney

Critics can be harsh at times !! – just as ‘moukha, mokha  Ad series’ is going on mocking Pak not beating India in a WC – the memory of that last ball six in Sharjah haunts !   Way back in 1986 at Sharjah –  around 16 were  required off last two, Kapil came on to bowl the 49th (his 10th) – controlled things giving away only 5 runs, Chetan bowled the last over when 11 were required  and off the last ball Javed Miandad hit a six of a full toss making it a night mare for Chetan, Kapil and Indians. The Press seethed with anger on Kapil and Rajan Bala wrote ‘Kapil in need of Maths tuition’.  Gross injustice – if only Chetan had bowled the penultimate perhaps the last over would have been a simple affair with Pak needing something less than 6 or perhaps there would not have been need for one.  Kapil was  targetted !!

On 7th Mar 2015, it was 30th match [ODI 3627] between Ireland and Zimbabwe played at Hobart.  332 was the target, which Zimbabwe chased almost successfully.  At death, it was ‘7 to win off 6 balls – 2 wickets in hand’.  For both the teams, there was a century and a 90+ 

It was  Cusack to Chakabva, offcutter, inside-edged - RW Chakabva bowled for 17.  Chatara took a singe.  49.3 -  Cusack to Mupariwa,  tried for a big hit off a slower ball – went high -  Porterfield, running in from long-on, took it calmly, a captain's catch.  Zimbabwe lost after coming so close. Then slowly much controversy stoked to that catch of John Mooney.  Mooney positioned his feet with precision to take the catch, and then celebrated when he completed it. The umpires seemed to tell Williams to wait as they checked whether Mooney's foot had stayed in play. But before the replay process was complete, Williams had walked. Nobody seemed to know what was going on.  New batter Tinashe Panyangara took guard. It looked as if Mooney's foot had touched the boundary, but with Williams already off the field, play went on.  Had the umpires called it a six, Williams would have had a hundred, and Zimbabwe would have been favourites to win.

That changed the ratio as well – instead of 26 off 19 balls with Williams still there, Zimbabwe needed 32 off 19 with only three wickets in hand. Had Zimbabwe triumphed, they would still have needed to beat India in their final group match to have any chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.  On record,  Williams, who was batting on 96, was dismissed by Kevin O'Brien with Zimbabwe needing 32 runs off 20 balls.

The  defeat was taken to another level by the report in Zimbabwe newspaper, which related the incident to Mooney's personal battles with alcohol and depression. "A shameless piece of fielding dishonesty that has soiled this global cricket showcase," journalist Sharuko wrote in the report. "Is it possible for a person like Mooney to be trusted?" he added referring to Mooney's personal troubles. The report in question appeared in The Herald under the headline 'Alcoholic dumps Zim out of WC' and included personal attack on Mooney.  The article launched a tirade - ‘Can he be trusted’? Commentator suggests Irish cricketer CHEATED in the World Cup - and can’t be taken seriously because he’s an alcoholic ‘who’s had suicidal thoughts’

An article launching a personal attack on a cricket player has caused outrage.  Irish cricketer John Mooney was the target of the poison piece which labelled him as untrustworthy due to his former battles with alcohol and depression.  In September last year the Irishman bravely opened up about his suicidal thoughts and alcoholism to raise awareness about depression.  Mooney revealed that when he was 11 years old his father ‘dropped dead in front of (him)’ and many of his issues in his adult life have stemmed from that experience as he 'never properly dealt with those issues'. 

It was the bitter alcohol of Zimbabwean Herald  reporter Robson Sharuko  mocking  Mooney for his suicidal thoughts during an article discussing a crucial but controversial catch Mooney took in the match. Understandably, the report was subject to Irish ire, with allrounder Niall O'Brien and Cricket Ireland chief Warren Deutrom launching a scathing attack. Brendan Taylor too apologised on behalf of Zimbabwe cricket.

The introduction of  article in Zimbabewe Herald read : ‘A recovering alcoholic, who was so depressed last year he even contemplated killing himself, was the Irishman who sealed Zimbabwe’s fate at this World Cup in Hobart on Saturday night with a shameless piece of fielding dishonesty that has soiled this global cricket showcase,’ and continued : ‘Some have gone to the extent of calling him a cheat, and it’s something that he probably deserves, after his game-changing moment turned a thrilling World Cup game on its head and helped Ireland to a five-runs (sic) win at the Blundstone Arena.’

The Zimbabwe team's captain Brendan Taylor  apologised to Mooney on behalf of the side for the 'unacceptable' article.  ‘On behalf of the Zimbabwe cricket team, We just want to express our apologies to @Irelandcricket and John Mooney for the unacceptable article,’ he tweeted.  Meantime, Cricket Ireland are preparing to take action against the publication and have referred the matter to the ICC.

With regards – S. Sampthkumar

12th Mar 2015.

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