Overseas opener Paul Stirling can't wait to sample the Edgbaston crowd on Thursday night against the Steelbacks.

Stirling – who is available for the first 12 games – is a destructive force in world cricket, having amassed 6,952 runs with two centuries and 47 half centuries at a strike rate of 141.67 in the wider T20 game.

The Irish vice-captain enjoyed a quick-fire 71 for the Bears Second XI on Tuesday and he’ll be hoping that a raucous Edgbaston will help him go one better.

“I’m massively excited,” said the 31-year-old. “I just got here in the past couple of days and I’m really enjoying my time so far.

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in – we’ve got three big games this week – so everyone is ready to go – especially the ones who haven’t played much red ball cricket. They’re really buzzing and there’s a really good vibe here.

“The exciting thing for me is playing in the North Group for the first time so there’s a lot of new teams which makes it fresh.”

“I think the crowds have been the biggest miss over the past few years and I think it gets every player going and brings out the best in most players. I’m really looking forward to that even if it’s good or bad as there will be a few words from the boundary.

“It’s great for the game to have them back.”