Paul Stirling returns to Middlesex as overseas signing for T20 Blast

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Ireland batter expected to be available for initial five-game spell during group stage

Paul Stirling will make his Middlesex comeback in this year’s Vitality T20 Blast, two years after leaving the club due to a change in ECB regulations.

Stirling, a British passport-holder who was born in Belfast, was forced to make a choice between playing as a local player in county cricket and continuing his international career but giving up his Middlesex contract as a result of regulation changes following Ireland’s ascent to ICC full-member status. He chose the latter, and will play as an overseas player in this year’s Blast.

Stirling played for Northamptonshire in last year’s T20 Blast, finishing as their top-scorer as they reached the quarter-finals, and attracted interest from several counties including Lancashire and Hampshire before his Middlesex deal was confirmed. He has initially agreed to play five games at the start of the Blast’s group stage, before Ireland’s limited-overs series at home to South Africa.

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