Ireland opener Paul Stirling set to miss Ireland’s one-off Test against England due to T20 Blast stint

New Delhi : Cricket Ireland has granted Paul Stirling a No Objection Certificate (NOC) that will allow the opener to play for the Birmingham Bears after agreeing a short-term T20 Blast contract for the upcoming season.

As per the deal, Stirling, 32, will play in the opening few rounds of the T20 Blast as overseas cover while Glenn Maxwell completes his IPL involvement with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
The move means that Stirling is all set to miss Ireland’s one-off Test against England at Lord’s from June 1-4. He had earlier been left out of the squads to face Tests against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
“We are pleased that Paul is returning to the Bears, as this will give him good quality T20 cricket in the lead-up to the European T20 World Cup Qualifier.

The Bears’ set-up is first-class and the club has worked well with Cricket Ireland – we wish Paul well, but know from his last experience that he will enjoy his time,” said Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, in an official statement.

Stirling featured for the Bears, controlled by Warwickshire, in 2022, bludgeoning 119 (nine fours, 10 sixes) off 51 balls on his Edgbaston debut. His 46-ball ton against Northamptonshire was the fastest recorded in professional cricket, including internationals, in England last year and won him the Walter Lawrence Trophy.

Overall, he recorded an average of 24.07 at a strike rate of 174.86. “We’re very lucky to be able to call on somebody of Paul’s calibre as cover. It’s a short-term deal to cover what could be as little as one or up to three or four matches after the Blast Off.

A lot will depend on when the final of the IPL is scheduled and how far Glenn’s team progresses.” “Paul made a big impact last season and the one over in which he hit five sixes and one four in an over will live long in the memory of Bears’ fans.

But he was also great to have in the Club and around the dressing room. He’s a great lad with huge domestic and international experience. I’m looking forward to welcoming him back into the Bears fold,” said Mark Robinson, head coach, Warwickshire.

 

 

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