Paul Stirling appointed new vice-captain of Ireland
Batsman Paul Sterling has been appointed as the new vice-captain of the Ireland men’s cricket team, Cricket Ireland has confirmed.
Reflecting on the development, Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie said that he often seeks advice from Paul over his batting and, therefore, he is excited to see the latter being his right-hand over the next few years.
“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,”Cricket Ireland quoted Balbirnie as saying.
The Ireland captain further lauded Paul, saying that the new vice-captain’s experience will be valuable for young players both on and off field.
“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. Even for the young players, to have someone like Paul to have a chat to in the change room or at training, he’s valuable to us both on the field and off,” he stated.
Ecstatic with his new role, Paul said that he is looking forward to work with Balbirnie and take the Irish team forward in the coming months.
“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,” he stated.
Stirling, who made his international debut for Ireland in 2008, has played in a total of 282 matches for the national side across all formats and amassed 8,821 runs in it besides taking 101 wickets.
He is currently standing at the fourth spot in the list of players to have won most number of caps for Ireland. Paul is also second-highest run-scorer of all-time.
Last week, Ireland made a return to training for the first time since the game was distrupted due to coronavirus pandemic, with discussions still underway over the possibility of the team playing three one-day internationals against England at the end of July.