Stirling sets sights on four-day role
Paul Stirling is desperate to earn a place in Middlesex's LV= County Championship side on the back of some outstanding form in limited-overs cricket this season.
At the tender age of 21, Stirling has not only established himself as a leading light for Ireland but also a key performer for his county in white-ball cricket.
Stirling has yet to gain his first taste of championship action, but being pigeon-holed as a one-day specialist is not something that appeals.
"I am having a good time at the minute," he told ecb.co.uk. "It is just nice to be scoring a few runs and helping Middlesex try to win games.
"I definitely want to get into the four-day side; I do not want to be earmarked as just a one-day player.
"Hopefully I can work hard on my technique and get into the side. I think my game is ready for the challenge.
"It is not easy to get into the side but, once you do, it is important to take those opportunities and show I can make big scores and bat for a long time.
"I am pretty unproven at four-day cricket, but, hopefully, when I get an opportunity I will be ready to score runs."
Even though he is yet to feature in the championship, Stirling is continuing a recent tradition of Irish players being given a chance at Lord's.
Ed Joyce, who now represents Sussex, at one stage captained Middlesex, while England star Eoin Morgan is also on the books.
Stirling does not hide his admiration for the pair, revealing their success at HQ is one of the reasons he signed.
He added: "Middlesex have had a good bond with Irish players, with Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan, and hopefully I can follow in their footsteps and have a good career there.
"It was definitely one of the things that attracted me to the club in the first place; they are two players I look up to.
"For them to be at Lord's was eye-catching and something I wanted to do as well."
Stirling, who recently reached 100 caps for Ireland, also feels he is benefiting greatly from playing at such a high standard regularly.
He said: "Coming to England and playing cricket day in and day out can only improve you, especially with me being quite young and playing against players of a better ability.
"It improves you quicker and it can only be good when you eventually enter your prime.
"One of my goals growing up was to get to 100 caps for Ireland and I managed to do that a few months ago.
"I am only 21 too; it is pretty special to have the caps and even more so at my age. It is nice to go out and play against big names. All you can do is enjoy the opportunity and not let it get too daunting."