Paul Stirling has been appointed vice-captain of Ireland, becoming second in command to Andrew Balbirnie.

The 29 year-old man takes over the role from Kevin O'Brien who had been filling in on an unofficial basis.

(Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie)

It was fitting to get a call from Bal [Andrew Balbirnie] to ask me to be his vice-captain," said Stirling.

"Weve played together all the way up from when we were kids so I look forward to helping him shape the way this Irish side moves forward in the coming months and years ahead.

Hes had an excellent start to his captaincy with wins in the Caribbean and the sub-continent, but there is so much on your plate as captain - especially with a younger team than weve had in the past - so I am happy just to be a sounding board to bounce ideas off and help implement any changes in the way Bal wants to take this team forward on and off the field.

Stirling has amassed a vast amount of experience since his debut in 2008, winning 282 caps. He also has leadership experience on his impressive, having skippered the Irish in six T20 internationals last year.

The decision to have Stirling as his deputy was a no-brainer for captain Balbirnie.

Ive known Paul since I was about 12 years old when we first played against each other in inter-provincial cricket weve grown up together in our careers as such.

"We both went to Middlesex at the same time and lived together over in London, so hes someone I consider a very close mate but also a very valuable person to have in our side from a knowledge point of view. So I didnt really hesitate when I was thinking about who could be my vice-captain he stuck out to me straight away.

I first mentioned the idea to him in the Caribbean and he said hed love to do it. Hes someone that Ive always sought advice from when thinking about my batting, so to have him as my right-hand man over the next few years is really exciting and one Im sure hes excited for as well.

I think within the Irish squad we have a lot of experienced guys to be able to voice their opinion, but at the end of the day, it is my decision. To have different points of view is great and refreshing, but with someone like Paul he is someone Id talk to a lot about the game its exciting for the next phase of the squad were bringing through.

"Even for the young players, to have someone like Paul to have a chat to in the change room or at training, hes valuable to us both on the field and off.

Ireland began training last week, and will play England next month in Southampton in three ODI's - subject to ECB confirmation in early July.