Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor has offered his apologies to John Mooney after the Ireland all-rounder was the subject of an “unacceptable article” following his match-changing catch to help send the African nation out of the World Cup.
A story from Zimbabwe Herald journalist Robson Sharuko, which ran on Monday under the headline ’Alcoholic dumps Zim out of WC’, questioned Mooney’s honesty after he claimed a catch near the rope to dismiss Sean Williams for 96.
Ireland went on to win the game in Hobart by five runs to keep their quarter-final hopes alive.
Cricket Ireland (CI) is considering legal action over the article and has reported the Sharuko’s remarks to the International Cricket Council.
CI chief executive officer Warren Deutrom has also condemned the Zimbabwe Herald’s “breath-taking crassness and a gross error of editorial judgement”.
The article was still on the newspaper’s website on Wednesday and Taylor, who stood in as Zimbabwe’s captain against Ireland, has felt obliged to apologise.
“On behalf of the Zimbabwe cricket team. We just want to express our apologies toIrelandcricket and John Mooney for the unacceptable article,” he wrote on Twitter.
On behalf of the Zimbabwe cricket team.We just want to express our apologies to @Irelandcricket and John Mooney for the unacceptable article— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) March 11, 2015
Sharuko’s article has drawn strong condemnation, especially on social media, after he linked the catch to Mooney’s battle with depression and alcoholism.
Mooney had previously made the honest revelations on a radio station in a bid to raise mental health issues.
“In relation to the story that has appeared in the Zimbabwe Herald, it would be easy to dismiss it as a childish diatribe if it wasn’t for the vicious personal attack on John which cannot pass without comment, and possible action,” Deutrom said in the CI statement.
“John represents his country with honour, distinction and integrity. That he does in the face of personal challenges about which he has spoken openly and movingly demonstrates incredible hard work and great courage.
“We understand, as does John, that public figures may occasionally be subject to negative comment, but in mocking John in such a contemptuous fashion, and using his personal difficulties as a mere punchline, the Zimbabwe Herald has demonstrated breath-taking crassness and a gross error of editorial judgement.
“We have made contact with ICC to understand what remedies might be available to us.”