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Paul Stirling speaks ahead of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Paul Stirling speaks ahead of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
Paul Stirling speaks ahead of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Ireland Men’s cricket team has arrived in Hobart ahead of the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup starting Monday – and Paul Stirling was talking from the team hotel after arriving in the Tasmanian capital.

Stirling, 32, made his international debut in 2008 against New Zealand in a one-day international, then made his T20 International debut against Pakistan in 2009. He has 340 caps for Ireland, including having played 114 T20Is – having scored 3,011 runs in T20Is, the world’s sixth-highest run-scorer in this format.

Stirling said of the current tour:

“There’s no doubt that we would’ve liked to have played a few more warm-up games, but the lads have had some very good sessions in the nets or indoors. We still have a couple of training sessions in Hobart between now and the first game to fine-tune a few skills, but we feel ready for Monday’s first game against Zimbabwe.

“Playing at the MCG the other night was a great experience for the squad - I haven’t played there before myself, and it has just given that little bit extra motivation to the lads as they now want to get back there and play in front of a crowd at what is one of the world’s iconic cricket grounds.”

About the tournament ahead and the team’s approach, he said:

“Clarity of role is something important that Heinrich [Malan] has focused on, and to have a management team behind you that really encourages taking the positive option has certainly injected that confidence in the playing group.

“Hobart holds fond memories for those of us in the squad who played at the 2015 World Cup, the win against Zimbabwe has gone down in Irish cricket history as one of those legendary wins and I know it inspired many kids back home to take up the sport - which is one thing we want to achieve as a squad.