John Mooney Sussex bound
Nick Royle (Setanta)
Ireland World Cup hero John Mooney is to go for a three-week trial with English county side Sussex, Setanta Sports can exclusively reveal.
The 30 year-old, who hit the winning runs in Ireland's historic World Cup win over England in Bangalore last year, will play two four-day games and five Twenty20 games with the Sussex second team.
The North County all-rounder hopes to force his way into the Sussex Sharks first team for the Friends Life t20 tournament, which starts on 12 June.
"I am going over to use it to get some game time, and hopefully from there, maybe make my way into the first team.," he said.
"It is an opportunity to play cricket, and if I do well, I may get a look in for the Twenty20 side."
If the trial is successful, Mooney hopes that he will get some much-needed t20 match time ahead of Ireland's ICC World Twenty20 campaign in September. Ireland play Australia on 19 September and the West Indies five days later in their two group games in the World Twenty20.
"The Ireland squad don't get to play as much Twenty20 cricket as we would like, especially with Sri Lanka coming up. Individually, the Irish team needs as many players as possible playing t20 cricket," he said.
"We want as many players as we can get out there on the park, week in and week out, playing for the county sides in big pressure situations."
It is the first opportunity that Mooney has had to play for an English county, and he says that Ireland team-mate Ed Joyce helped arranged the trial when Sussex coach Mark Robinson expressed an interest after seeing him in action in the one-day international against England in Dublin last August.
"Last summer, after we played England, Mark Robinson was asking questions and he seemed keen enough. Ed put me on to it, but nothing really happened," he said.
"But a couple of weeks ago, (Sussex coaching staff member) Carl Hopkinson rang me up to ask if I would come over and play a few games so they could have a look at me."