Ireland, Middlesex, Sylhet Royals, Kandahar Knights, Paarl Rocks, Kerala Knights, Khulna Titans, Belfast Titans, Delhi Bulls, Northamptonshire
A right-handed opening batsman, Paul Stirling, has been known for providing attacking starts to Ireland in the 50-over and Twenty20 version of the game. With Ireland having gained Test status, Stirling now has the opportunity to fine tune his game plan to effectively counter the needs of red-ball cricket. It shouldn't be too tough for him, considering his immense experience in the English domestic set-up, having been part of Middlesex for several years now. A decade into international cricket, Stirling has grown from a chubby 18-year old debutante to becoming the linchpin of Ireland's batting order. As part of the Associate nations, Stirling racked up runs for fun against similar opposition, but he also showed that he had the game against the big boys. The 2011 World Cup was a disappointment though - as he managed only one score of significance - 101 coming against Netherlands in Kolkata. He shrugged off the disappointment though and registered his first hundred against a visiting Test nation, against Pakistan, in May 2011. Since then, he has grown in stature and has been regarded as one of the finest batsman ever produced by Ireland. Numbers tell the story for Stirling, in 97 ODIs, he has 50+ scores in 23 innings - getting him a ratio that will stand proud amongst the best opening batsmen of this era. He however has a tendency of being a nervous starter - nine ducks in 97 games is perhaps one glaring stat which needs to be worked on. With his country getting recognized as a regular Test playing nation, the onus will be on the likes of Stirling to ensure that the next generation of Ireland cricketers have a stable platform.