Paul Stirling Excited About Receiving Ireland's International Player Of the Decade Award

Paul Stirling Excited About Receiving Ireland’s International Player Of the Decade Award

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling[photo: Reuters]

Paul Stirling was excited to be named the ITW International Player of the Decade at the annual Cricket Ireland Awards last night on account of his excellent record with the bat. He also won Ireland’s Player of the Year award for his excellent knock of 142 against a mighty England side at Southampton to produce a memorable chase of 329 alongside Andrew Balbernie’s century.

The 30-year-old has played 125 ODIs, 78 T20s, and 3 tests for Ireland scoring 4697, 2124, and 104 runs respectively. He has hit 24 half-centuries and 12 centuries in his excellent 50 over career averaging nearly 40 with the bat. He can strike long sixes at will and has won games individually for his nation. Only Kevin O Brien has played more games for Ireland in the last decade than Paul Stirling.

Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbernie
Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbernie[photo: AFP]

Paul Stirling Forced To Choose Between Ireland And Middlesex

Paul Stirling admitted that he completed the decade after being forced to choose between Ireland and Middlesex. Paul Stirling hit 11 centuries and 44 fifties in the 216 games he played between 2010 and 2020. He explained the emotions associated with both the clubs and the coaches and felt very hard to decide on it. He then decided to play for Ireland full time and planned to give everything to it.

“It was the toughest decision I have had to make professionally,” said Paul Stirling. “Playing for the same two teams for so long equally, with basically the same coaches, Phil Simmons and Richard Scott at Middlesex, it made it even harder. You were so settled, had been there a long time, a family feel at both clubs, I kind of wanted someone else to make the decision for me.

“But it got to the very latter stages and I had to make it myself. Once the decision was made, to come back to play for Ireland full-time, that was the route to go and you’ve got to give it everything.”

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling[Credits: Getty Images]

Paul Stirling Remembers Olden Days

He remembered the olden days when he used to watch the massive Cliftonville side in the mid-90s and played there until the age of 15. He added that it paved the way for an appetite to go and play for the country.

“I remember watching that massive Cliftonville side in the mid-90s and playing there from the age of seven to 15 and that whetted my appetite to go on and play for Ireland,” he said

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling[Mike Hewitt/AFP via Getty Images]
Awards: Player of the Decades – Male: Paul Stirling; Female: Kim Garth. Players of the Year: Men’s International: Paul Stirling. Inter-provincial: Simi Singh (Leinster Lightning): Super Series: Laura Delany (Typhoons); Club Male: John Anderson (Merrion); Female Club: Alana Dalzell (Bready); Club of the Year: Limerick; Official of the Year: Ian Houston; Outstanding Contribution to Irish Cricket: Roy Torrens; Volunteering Excellence Award: Michael Hickey; Outstanding contribution to coaching: Brian O’Rourke; Spirit of Cricket Award: Bready CC; CWI Hall of Fame: Peter Gillespie, Catriona Beggs, Jimmy Boucher.