Paul Stirling named Ireland's men's cricketer of the decade

Veteran cricketers Paul Stirling and Kim Garth have been named Ireland's men and women cricketers of the decade (2011-20) at the Irish Cricket Awards, held on Friday (February 26) night.

Stirling topped the run-scoring charts in the last decade, scoring 5529 runs across formats with the help of eight hundreds.

The blistering opener was nominated alongside Tim Murtagh, Ed Joyce, William Porterfield and Kevin O'Brien and was eventually handed the award for his "world class consistency".

"He has amazing natural talent with power and match-winning qualities. Opening the batting against top-quality bowling attacks, he has an outstanding strike rate which gives the team the best chance of being successful against the top nations," said the judge panel as quoted by ESPNcricinfo'

As expected, Stirling was over the moon after receiving such an honour. The right-handed opener termed it as a "pretty special award".

"It's a pretty special award, I must admit. Over such a long period of time, to come out with something like that… there's so many great players that have been involved over the last 10 years, so to come out on top of that - [I'm] not quite sure how, but delighted to have received the award. It's just class." he said.

Stirling also topped the run-scoring charts in T20s for his country last year, smashing 1187 runs at an average of 44. He was also named Ireland’s international player of the year.

Meanwhile, Garth pipped the likes of Laura Delany, Clare Shillington, and the Joyce sisters- Cecelia and Isobel- to claim the coveted award.

Garth finished as the leading wicket-taker for the Irish in both WODIs and WT20Is in the last decade.

She made her debut back in 2010 and nine years later, became one of the first six years to be awarded a professional contract by Cricket Ireland.

But, last year, instead of committing to a two-year contract with Ireland, she signed up for Victoria.

"It was a decision I'd thought about for quite a while and obviously it was very difficult knowing that my Irish career was something that was going to have to be put on hold for the time being," Garth said.

"Having spent a couple of years out here and seen how the system works, I decided that I wanted to play cricket for a living and unfortunately that wasn't feasible back home. It's been absolutely amazing. It's an incredibly strong side. I absolutely love being a part of it,"  she added.

Meanwhile, spinning all-rounder Simi Singh won the inter-provincial player of the year award while Laura Delany won the Super Series player of the year award.

Discover more
Top Stories

IPL 2022 | KKR to play MI in opener; ‘green channel’ permitted for players

The Indian Premier League will be back in action on Saturday, March 26. A 10-team tournament this time around, this cash-rich league will be played in Maharashtra to reduce the travel in pandemic conditions. With excitement building for the tournament to start, reports in the Indian media suggest that the opening encounter of the season will be played between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders. The finalists from the last season will take on the most successful team of the tournament to kick things off for a 74-match long season. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have already made it clear that 70 matches are going to be played across four stadiums in Maharashtra while the venues for the final four games are yet to be determined. But reports suggest that the tournament could well shift to Ahmedabad for the final flourish. Mumbai vs Kolkata has been a very one-sided contest in the history of the league, but the template might not be the same this time around, with Kolkata revamping their entire batting order. A report in the Times of India also suggests that the board has been assured of 'green channels' by the Maharashtra government so that players do not get stuck in Mumbai traffic jams en route stadiums. The BCCI will hope to host a full IPL season after last year's failures with the bio-bubble situation. This has unarguably been the prime reason behind keeping the majority of the tournament in one city so that players do not have to travel through public spaces like airport.


NZ vs SA |2nd Test | Day 3: South Africa still in lead despite de Grandhomme century

It is turning out to be one see-saw encounter at the Basin Reserve in Wellington with both South Africa and New Zealand not interested in giving up even an inch of their playing field. Day 3 in the second Test match of South Africa’s tour of the World Test Champions saw yet another riveting day of cricket headlined by Colin de Grandhomme’s century and the feeling that South Africa still have the upper hand in a must win game. De Grandhomme pushed the visitors in the morning session continuing from his blitzkrieg on Day 2, starting to find his range in the first few overs. He could possibly have carried on with that but instead chose to show a little more patience and get his century while partnering Daryll Mitchell for 133 runs. The right hander remained not out at 120 while Mitchell was caught plumb in front by Keshav Maharaj - the only specialist spinner playing this Test match. Useful contribution from Neil Wagner at the end took New Zealand to 293 runs, conceding a lead of 71 runs. Coming into bowl, New Zealand needed quick wickets to make an impact in the Test match, and they did with the ever dependable Tim Southee. The maestro removed openers Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar inside the first 11 overs, with the visitors having put 23 on board. It did not take long for SA to lose their third wicket - courtesy of Matt Henry who removed Aiden Markram to almost affect a collapse. As South Africa looked pushed to their limit, the collapse was stopped by Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma. Van der Dussen played some glorious shots and was largely the reason behind such a quick counter attack. The 65-run partnership was broken by the massive efforts of Neil Wagner who once again burst out a barrage of short balls late in the day. Wagner removed both Bavuma and more importantly van der Dussen who was looking like he could take the game away from the hosts. Wagner won the patience game against van der Dussen, trapping him into a desperate pull shot that the batter lobbed up into the bowler's hands. He then removed Bavuma as well with his change up fuller length delivery. As things stand, South Africa are leading the game by 211 runs with their last recognised batting pair in the middle. Kyle Verreynne and Wiaan Mulder were in the middle at stumps having put 26 runs together between them. A Test match that has shifted momentum throughout its course of three days, fans would be eagerly waiting for Day 4 as the game moves into its most crucial hours. A quick 100 runs can mean that New Zealand will be in a huge pickle against Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen, who have breathed fire throughout the game. In the first innings against the hosts, Rabada took 5 while Jansen finished with four to his name. NZ will be looking to wrap the visitors inside 250 runs, before hoping that they can chase it down without their talismans Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.