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Paul Stirling pockets top player prize

Irish cricket awards

By Ian Callender

Paul Stirling is the Cricket Writers’ of Ireland Player of the year. The Middlesex batsman was the clear winner after becoming the first Ireland batsman to score four centuries in a calendar year.

In all, Stirling scored 686 runs — over 200 runs more than anyone else — at an average of 40.35.

The former Cliftonville and Carrickfergus player crowned his memorable year last week by signing a new three-year contract with Middlesex.

Stirling said: “I’m delighted to continue playing for Middlesex. Playing in England every day I learn so much and it has helped me improve as an Ireland player.

“It has been a great year for me and although I under-performed at the World Cup (he scored only 56 runs in the first five matches), I have definitely improved since and it is an honour to be named player of the year.”

The highlight of his playing year was a century, off 70 balls, against the Netherlands in Ireland’s final game at the World Cup finals, although he followed that up with an innings of 109 against Pakistan in an ODI at Stormont in May.

His other three figures scores were a season's best of 113 against Scotland and Canada.

Stirling received his award, sponsored by the Russell Court Hotel, from Cricket Ireland president Richard Johnson in Coleraine Cricket Club.

Other players awarded at the CWI dinner were Donemana’s Andy McBrine who received the Port Hotel Young Player of the Year, Railway Union’s Tom Fisher the Ulster Bank Club Player of the Year and Kevin O’Brien was also present to receive the Outstanding Performance of the Year Award for his record breaking 50-ball century in the World Cup win over England in Bangalore.

Two of the North West’s greatest cricketers were inducted into the CWI’s Hall of Fame, legendary wicket-keeper Ossie Colhoun and former opening bowler and current Ireland team manager Roy Torrens.

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