Photo Credit: Warwickshire County Cricket Club
Cricket Ireland today granted Paul Stirling a No Objection Certificate (NOC) that will allow him to return to play for the Birmingham Bears after agreeing a short-term Vitality Blast contract.
Stirling featured for the Bears in 2022, bludgeoning 119 (nine fours, 10 sixes) on his Edgbaston debut. His 46-ball ton against the Northants Steelbacks was the fastest recorded in professional cricket, including internationals, in England last year and won him the Walter Lawrence Trophy.
The 32-year-old will play in the opening few rounds of the T20 competition as overseas cover while Glenn Maxwell completes his IPL involvement.
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“We are pleased that Paul is returning to the Bears, as this will give him good quality T20 cricket in the lead-up to the European T20 World Cup Qualifier. The Bears’ set-up is first-class and the club has worked well with Cricket Ireland – we wish Paul well, but know from his last experience that he will enjoy his time.”
First Team Coach Mark Robinson said:
“We’re very lucky to be able to call on somebody of Paul’s calibre as cover. It’s a short-term deal to cover what could be as little as one or up to three or four matches after the Blast Off. A lot will depend on when the final of the IPL is scheduled and how far Glenn’s team progresses.
“Paul made a big impact last season and the one over in which he hit five sixes and one four in an over will live long in the memory of Bears’ fans. But he was also great to have in the Club and around the dressing room. He’s a great lad with huge domestic and international experience. I’m looking forward to welcoming him back into the Bears fold.”
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