HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL STIRLING: From Ireland cricket’s next big thing to being one of the world’s formidable batters, Paul Stirling has definitely come a long way. The flamboyant batter has slathered his batting prowess on the international stage and across various T20 leagues in the world. Known for his innate swagger and hard-hitting, Stirling has often obliterated the best bowling line-ups, thanks to his fearless mindset and excellent hand-eye coordination. After making his ODI debut at the age of 17 against UAE, Stirling has amassed 8,287 runs in international cricket across all formats.
As the Irishman celebrates his 32nd birthday, let’s take a look at some the interesting facts from his life:
- Hails from a family rooted in Sports
Paul was born into a sports-enthusiastic family. His father Brian Stirling was a primary school principal who played cricket for Irish Schools and Ulster Town. He was also an international Rugby Union referee. Paul’s elder brother, Richard Stirling had represented Ireland at the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2005.
- First Class Hundred at 18
Stirling made his First-Class debut for Ireland a few months before his international debut. Ireland stuck with the teenager despite his lackluster form. Stirling returned the confidence with a maiden century against Kenya in the first match of the 2009 ICC Intercontinental Cup when he was just 18 years old.
- Nominated as Emerging Player of the Year by ICC
In 2010, Stirling was nominated for the Emerging Player of the Year award by ICC. He was the only associate member to be nominated in the category while all the other players were from Test-playing nations.
- Holds the record for Ireland’s highest ODI score
Stirling smashed his maiden ODI century in September 2010 against Canada in Toronto. He played a stroke-filled innings of 177 off just 134 deliveries, including 21 fours and 5 sixes. Stirling’s scintillating knock still remains the highest ODI score by an Irishman.
- Struck five ODI centuries before turning 23
The aggressive right-hander batter has a unique accolade under his belt. Stirling scored five ODI hundreds before turning 23. Although 12 other batters achieved the feat, Stirling is the only one from an Associate Nation to do so.
- Scored a century in T20I cricket
Stirling’s aggressive batting style makes him a natural in the T20 format. The Irish batter smashed an astonishing century in the shortest format of the game against Zimbabwe in 2021. He finished with a career-best score of 115 off just 75 deliveries and remained unbeaten to lead Ireland to a 40-run triumph.
- Big part of Franchise Cricket
It’s a shame that a player of Stirling’s calibre hasn’t got an opportunity to play in the Indian Premier League. However, he has proved his mettle in franchise cricket across the globe and has been a vital cog in many franchises. Currently, he is playing in the Caribbean Premiere League for Guyana Amazon Warriors. He also is a vital part of the Southern Brave team that plays in the English Hundred tournament.