Paul Stirling is the most promising talent in the Irish cricket batting lineup and he's only just turned 21, he made his first-class debut in 2008 while playing for Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup. He signed a contract with Middlesex in 2009 and not long later was awarded a contract with Cricket Ireland, and he was only one of six players with a full-time contract with Cricket Ireland. Also making his List A debut for Middlesex in 2011.
Stirling scored his maiden first-class century in July 2009 in the opening game of the 2009/10 Intercontinental Cup. And having signed his full time contract with Ireland it had given him the time to focus solely on Ireland. He was nominated for Emerging Player of the Year in 2010 and also the Associate Player of the Year in the ICC Awards, and what makes it even more impressive, he was the only associate player nominated in the Emerging Player category.
For Paul to be nominated with such leading names of World cricket it shows how far he has come with Cricket Ireland and all of this at the age of only 19 is very impressive. One of his biggest knocks for his country came during a One Day International against Canada on the 7th of September 2010 where he made his maiden List-A century scoring 177 runs.
In doing so Stirling made the highest individual score for Ireland in an ODI and also becoming the 14th ''Highest individual score by a batsman in one day cricket (ODI)''
He was selected in Ireland's 15-man squad for the 2011 World Cup where Stirling got himself another International century off only 70 deliveries which made it the fourth-fastest in World Cup history...
After the World Cup Stirling got into the Middlesex's one-day side during the 2011 season, making his List a debut on the 24th of April against Worcestershire. He also had a good run with the bat in the 2011 Clydesdale Bank 40 competition scoring 535 runs from 12 matches, and towards the end fo the competition he struck his first century for Middlesex, scoring 109 from 81 balls.
With the contract he has with Cricket Ireland he has given him more say when it comes to playing for Ireland and he got his chance to shine when Pakistan came to Ireland for a two game ODI series in May 2011, Ireland did lose the series 2-0 but in the second game Stirling scored his first century against a Test nation at the young age of 20, and he was once against shortlisted for Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year at the 2011 ICC Awards in August 2011.
And despite his young age of 21 he remains of the brightest prospects in not only Irish cricket but World cricket and has been labeled the new Eoin Morgan but all Irish fans will hope he can remain in Irish cricket for a very long time to come and help open the batting when Ireland gets it's chance to play the ultimate test in test cricket...