Paul Stirling is among the most destructive batters in T20 cricket - and loves nothing more than to land the big blows on the big occasions.

During the course of 276 T20s in his career, including 102 T20Is for Ireland, Stirling has smashed 266 sixes in 6,952 runs, including two centuries and 57 fifties. And he loves nothing more than when the stakes are at their highest.

Last August, the eyes of the cricket world were on Lord’s for the inaugural final of The Hundred. Inside a packed stadium, Stirling took the man-of-the-match award for his brutal 61 (six sixes) to set up Southern Brave’s victory over Birmingham Phoenix. He is delighted to be joining up again with Brave teammate Jake Lintott on behalf of the Bears this summer.

Stirling’s all-round prowess showed early. He had already hit two ODI centuries (against Pakistan) before his 23rd birthday and soon became a pillar of the Ireland side that rose to become a dangerous force in white ball a cricket. The Belfast-born player also helped hand the Bears a bruising in the 2008 Friends Provident Trophy at Stormont. His breezy 27 launched Ireland towards a four-wicket victory over Ashley Giles’s side.

Alongside his ferocious batting, he brings to his team a valuable bowling option with accurate medium pace. He was Ireland’s most economical bowled during their victory over England in Bangalore in the 2011 World Cup.

With bat and ball, and in terms of experience and temperament, Stirling is a signing to excite the Bears fans as the 2022 tournament draws close.