Stirling, who last week stood in as Ireland captain and led the Men in Green to the celebrated series win over West Indies, made 705 runs in 2021 in ODI matches at an average of 79.66. This included three centuries and two half-centuries, and he finished top run-scorer worldwide in the format.
Singh, who excelled with his off-spin bowling and made several valuable contributions with the bat, picked up 19 wickets in ODI matches at an average of 20.15, which included one five-for. With the bat he hit 280 runs at 46.66, including a century against South Africa at Malahide which went down in the record books as the first-ever century by a batter coming in at eight in ODI cricket.
Stirling said, “It’s a nice way to close the chapter on 2021 being named in this team of the year. It was pleasing that the hard work put in with Graham Ford has paid off. You are always looking to improve as an international sportsman so to have probably my most successful year in an Ireland shirt to date was extremely satisfying and gives me a benchmark to try and surpass in years to come.
He also added, “I would say the highlight for me was scoring so heavily in one tour in January. I had just come from Sri Lanka where I had really struggled for form and rhythm so to be able to turn that around in a few weeks has given me a lot of confidence when future runs are hard to come by. Of course the T20I hundred at Bready against Zimbabwe was a memorable one too, it’s always nice being able to raise the bat in front of your home support.”
Whereas Singh said, “It’s great to be recognised at the highest level and to be named among the top players in the world is a surreal feeling. Wining against South Africa, scoring my maiden ODI ton, taking my maiden ODI five-for, hitting a maiden ODI fifty in the same year was pretty special personally.”