24th May: Mumbai Indians v R. Royals, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Middlesex have agreed a contract extension with Ireland all-rounder Paul Stirling, which will see the 22 year-old play at Lord’s until at least the end of the 2015 season.
Stirling was Middlesex’s leading run-scorer in the Friends Life t20 last season, scoring 271 runs at the top of the order at a strike rate of more than 140. His best innings came against eventual champions Hampshire at Richmond, where he blazed 82 not out from only 64 balls. He also hit 256 runs in one-day cricket at a strike rate of over 100 and is a more than useful off-spinner who took 11 wickets for the club in 2012.
Commenting on Stirling signing his new contract, Middlesex’s Managing Director of Cricket, Angus Fraser, said: “Paul is without doubt one of the most exciting young cricketers in the world. I have watched a lot of cricket in the past 30 years but I have seen very few batsmen strike the ball as cleanly and hit the ball as far as Paul. If he is not quite on a par with the likes of Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, he is not far behind. On his day he is almost impossible to bowl at, such is the array of strokes he can play.
“It can and should not be long before the England selectors begin enquiring about his availability as he would add a great deal to their one day and t20 team. Paul is a more than useful off-spin bowler and an excellent fielder too. Most importantly though is he is a cracking young man.
“Paul has so far made his name in limited over cricket but it is our aim to get him into first-class cricket too. We believe he has the ability and potential to be equally destructive in this form of the game."
© Cricket World 2012
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