Teams Played For
Ireland, Middlesex, Sylhet Royals, Kandahar Knights, Paarl Rocks, Kerala Knights, Khulna Titans, Belfast Titans, Delhi Bulls
Statistically, the most consistent limited-overs openers, Paul Stirling has been the backbone of the Irish batting line-up, and now with Ireland having gained Test status, Stirling is a three-format player. He carries a natural swagger and is a progressive puller of the ball.
Born in Belfast, Stirling has emerged from the age-group level. He represented Ireland in the Under-19 World Cup in 2010, after representing Ireland U-16. Stirling finished the Junior World Cup as Ireland’s highest run-getter (209 runs from five games).
At the age of 17, Stirling made his ODI debut against New Zealand in 2008 and a year later played the 2009 World T20 in England. Later in 2009, he signed a three-year contract with Middlesex, following the path of ex-Irishman Eion Morgan.
The 2011 World Cup was a disappointment though except 101 against the Netherlands at Eden Garden. Later that year, he scored a ton against Pakistan and followed another one against the same opposition. However, the batter gained the limelight after his 79 off 38 balls and 76 off 43 balls against Afghanistan in the finals of the World T20 qualifiers in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
Since his arrival at Middlesex in 2009, Stirling didn’t impress in the Championship but became a megastar in the limited-overs cricket. However, he started to flourish in the red-ball format after his maiden County hundred at Lord’s in 2017.
The following year, ICC named the Irishman as one of the ten players to watch ahead of the 2018 Cricket World Cup qualifier and finished the tournament as the third-highest run-scorer with 267 runs in six games. In May, the opener made his Test debut during the historic match against Pakistan to earn the title of a three-format cricketer.
Over the years, Stirling has appeared in various T20 leagues across the globe. The Irishman has provided his services in Afghanistan Premier League, Mzansi Super League, Euro T20 Slam, Vitality t20 Blast, Lanka Premier League, Abu T10 League, and Pakistan Super League.
As per stats, Stirling is the best batsman to play for Ireland but also the most consistent opening batter across all international nations.
(As of April 2021)