Ireland name Paul Stirling as permanent white-ball captain

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Stirling had been appointed as the interim skipper in the white-ball formats this July
Stirling had been appointed as the interim skipper in the white-ball formats this July © Getty

Senior batter Paul Stirling has been named as the permanent white-ball captain of the men's Ireland team as the national selectors set their sights on the two T20 World Cups and one 50-over showpiece event to be played in the next four years. Andrew Balbirnie will hold onto Test captaincy.

Stirling had been appointed as the interim skipper in the white-ball formats this July when Balbirnie stepped down, and has now been offered the role on a full-time basis. The 33-year-old swashbuckling opener has already led the side in 22 matches across the two formats (6 ODIs, 16 T20Is).

"Playing for Ireland has always been a source of pride for me and to be confirmed the permanent white-ball captain is a recognition I don't take for granted," Stirling said of his appointment. "I have very much enjoyed working with Heinrich [Malan] and the coaching staff over the last few months as interim skipper, but we all know that we have potentially three world cup campaigns over the next four years and the work starts now.

"I said recently that ODI cricket was my favourite format, and to watch on as the 50-over World Cup has been underway is actually been a great motivator for me to ensure we are there at the next event in 2027. I know this desire is a common feeling throughout the squad, and so we'll look to harness this drive into the next series scheduled for December," Stirling added.

Head coach Heinrich Malan lauded the appointment and reckoned that Stirling, with his wealth of experience and knowledge, is an asset to the Irish team. Stirling has played in 376 games for Ireland across formats, just 13 short of Kevin O'Brien's record tally. Stirling is also Ireland's highest-ever run-scorer with 11,756 runs across formats.

"The last few months of dealing so closely with Paul has confirmed that we have an asset of vast experience and knowledge within the playing group - experience and knowledge he has gained from his time with Ireland, in franchise cricket and formerly within county cricket," Malan said.

"While fans may appreciate Paul's talent on the field, his leadership skills and ability to communicate within the squad is a much under-estimated attribute. He lives and breathes cricket and has a passion for Irish cricket that is plain for everyone to see. It's incredible to think Paul has been playing international cricket for 15 years and still has more good years ahead to lead this team and help improve Irish cricket," he added.



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