Paul Stirling will captain Ireland in the first of three T20 internationals against Bangladesh in Chattogram today as skipper Andy Balbirnie recharges his batteries ahead of a busy schedule of Test matches and World Cup qualifiers.

Vice-captain Stirling has led the Boys in Green in six previous T20s and also enjoyed a notable success by claiming two World Cup Super League victories in the West Indies at the start of 2022 when Balbirnie tested positive for Covid.

“Andrew was due to take a break from the ODIs in Sri Lanka next month to concentrate on preparation for the upcoming Tests and Super League series in May,” coach Heinrich Malan said. 

“With those ODIs having been changed to a second Test match, he will now be rested from this T20i series instead.

“I see it is an essential part of squad management that we give our leading players adequate down time for their physical and mental health. Such rotation also allows us to broaden the talent pool by giving a wider group of players first team opportunities.”

One such player is big-hitting Ross Adair, the brother of Mark, who will bolster a top order that struggled in last week’s ODI series, while seam bowler Craig Young could return to action after an injury lay-off dating back to July.