On Friday, Cricket Ireland gave swashbuckling opening batsman Paul Stirling, the vice-captaincy of the men’s cricket team. Paul Stirling is one of the most experienced players of the Irish side, having made his international debut in 2008. The 29-year old’s scoring rate of 139.27 and 86.75 in T20Is and ODIs respectively signals that he goes after the bowlers from the get-go.
Across formats, Stirling has 6349 international runs in 198 games for Ireland. He is the highest run-getter for the national team in ODIs and T20Is. Paul Stirling also boasts of 60 international wickets using his right-arm off-break and has stood as an acting captain in six T20 internationals.
Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie revealed that he suggested the idea to Paul in their tour of Caribbean earlier this year. The 29-year old responded happily to it, and Andrew opines that to have someone, who has immense knowledge about the game is indeed uplifting for the upcoming generation.
“I first mentioned the idea to him in the Caribbean and he said he’d love to do it. He’s someone that I’ve always sought advice from when thinking about my batting, so to have him as my right-hand man over the next few years is really exciting and one I’m sure he’s excited for as well,” the Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie stated as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“I think within the Irish squad we have a lot of experienced guys to be able to voice their opinion, but at the end of the day, it is my decision. To have different points of view is great and refreshing, but with someone like Paul he is someone I’d talk to a lot about the game – it’s exciting for the next phase of the squad we’re bringing through,” he added.
It was fitting to get a call from Bal [Andrew Balbirnie] to ask me to be his vice-captain: Paul Stirling
The 29-year old in turn stated that he was happy that Balbirnie had offered him the job and someone with whom he has played quite a lot, Stirling would be glad to partner with him and take the Irish cricket team to new heights. The Irishmen returned to training last week while discussions are ongoing regarding their scheduled three ODIs against England at the end of July.
“It was fitting to get a call from Bal [Andrew Balbirnie] to ask me to be his vice-captain. We’ve played together all the way up from when we were kids so I look forward to helping him shape the way this Irish side moves forward in the coming months and years ahead.” Stirling mentioned.