Paul Stirling Wins Walter Lawrence Trophy
Ireland’s swashbuckling opener, Paul Stirling, stirred the pulses on his debut for Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on May 26 with a thrilling hundred off 46 balls, which has won him this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy.
Stirling smote 8 fours and 8 sixes in bringing up his century before perishing on 119 in the Vitality Blast match against Northamptonshire on May 26.
A worldwide, destructive force in limited-over-cricket, Stirling’s 119 was his third and highest T-20 score, featuring 9 fours and 10 sixes – including 34 runs off one over, paving the way for a Bears’ victory, by 125-runs, in a game decided by the Duckworth/Lewis method.
Of his winning knock, Stirling commented : ‘You’re never quite sure how your first game’s going to go, so it couldn’t have gone much better. It’s a case of getting in, and if it’s your day, it’ll come out of the middle of the bat, and I think that’s what happened – it just happened to be my day!
Born in Belfast, Stirling made his debut for Ireland in 2018, aged 17, and has played in 3 Tests, 139 One-Day Internationals and 114 T-20 Internationals to date. Made vice-captain of his country in 2020, he has scored 13 ODI hundreds, including Ireland’s highest ODI innings of 177 against Canada at Toronto in 2010. Stirling became the first Ireland player to score 5,000 ODI runs and in the annual ICC Awards in January he was included in ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year for 2021.
After playing in their youth sides and the county’s 2nd XI, Stirling signed a three-year contract with Middlesex in 2009. However, his future with the county ended in 2019 after Ireland’s ascent to Test match status led to him being classed as an overseas player and since then his supreme attacking talents in the one-day game have seen him concentrate on the limited-over franchise.
As well as Ireland, Middlesex and Birmingham Bears, the 32-year-old all-rounder has represented Northamptonshire, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kerala Kings, Khulna Titans, Bengal Tigers, Chitwan Tigers, Islamabad United, Dambulla Viiking, Kandahar Knights, Sylhet Royals, Paarl Rocks, Boost Defenders, Royals, Northerns and Southern Brave.
Paul will receive £2,500 plus a special medallion at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s on November 2.
The Walter Lawrence Trophy, now in its 88th year, is awarded for the fastest hundred of the season and is open to all domestic county competitions as well as One-Day Internationals, T20 Internationals, The Hundred and Test matches in England.