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Stirling to have another Blast with Middlesex after county announce Ireland international's return



Paul Stirling. Credit: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Paul Stirling. Credit: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Paul Stirling. Credit: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Paul Stirling will be back in the pink for Middlesex this season, after the county announced the return of one of their favourite players.

Stirling had to leave Middlesex at the end of the 2019 season to continue his Ireland career, as he was deemed an overseas player. But he will rejoin his former team-mates to play in the early stages of the Vitality T20 Blast. Their first game is on June 10, the same day as Northern Knights’ final Inter-provincial Cup match against Munster Reds.

The Ireland vice-captain, however, remains available for Knights’ next two games, starting tomorrow with the return against North West Warriors at Bready, and Boyd Rankin is expected to return to the home side

After missing Warriors’ 62-run win at Stormont, it is unlikely Rankin will be denied the chance of playing where it all started for him some 20 years ago.

Warriors head coach Gary Wilson confirmed it was just a matter of rest and rotation that Rankin did not play on Tuesday.

“Boyd won’t be able to bowl as much as he usually would and will not play all 16 games this summer. So it was an opportunity for Conor Olphert to bowl some overs, albeit he only bowled seven balls,” said Wilson, who while delighted with his side’s win knows there is work ahead.

“We’re still massively a work in progress, but we’re playing some good cricket, some guys are in good form and hopefully they will extend that form on Friday.”

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The Interprovincial Cup continues today with Leinster Lightning, looking to bounce back from their defeat by Knights, facing Munster Reds, who include both Murray Commins and Gareth Delany.

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