• Name: Andrew Balbirnie
  • Born: December 28 1990, Dublin.
  • Club: Middlesex
  • Previous Clubs: Pembroke, Sunbury, North Middlesex, Leinster under-age, Ireland under-age, Leinster Lightning.
  • Primary/Secondary Schools/University education: St Andrews College for both primary and secondary, Cardiff Met University where I obtained a degree in Sports Coaching.

How/why did you start playing cricket? I was born about 50 yards away from Sydney Parade, Pembroke's ground, so when I was about 8 or 9 I used to wander down there and play.

Any family members playing cricket? My brothers Harry and Jack are both pretty good players, featuring in first team cricket at Pembroke. My dad played a little bit at school.

Who had the greatest influence on your career? Brian O'Rourke. He taught me cricket from a very young age at Pembroke and then all the way through the Leinster youth set-up, and also with some of the Irish under-age sides. My dad Ashleigh has always been there supporting me from the very start, and is still there when I need him to this day.

What is your ultimate cricketing aspiration? To captain Ireland in a Test match.

Best cricketing moments/personal highlights? My first hundred for Ireland against New Zealand A in the UAE last year. That was the innings which probably secured my place in the World Cup squad.

The whole World Cup experience in Australia and New Zealand.

What was your worst cricketing moment? Any of our last 6 or 7 T20 defeats. The Oman loss is right up there as was our defeat by Papua New Guinea in the qualifiers in Belfast. Also, losing out on run-rate in the World Cup in 2015 was pretty demoralising.

Who is your best friend in Irish Cricket and why? Kevin O'Brien, who also comes from the Sandymount area of Dublin, and Paul Stirling. I've played with Paul since I was 11 and we share a house in London with a few other Middlesex cricketers.

Toughest opponent and who is the best player you've played with? Dale Steyn is the best bowler I've faced, and Ed Joyce is the best player I've played with.

If you could bat against anyone in world cricket, who would it be? I'd quite like to test myself against Mitchell Starc.

Who is your favourite Irish cricketer (past and present), and why? Peter Davy was the international at my club growing up. He took me under his wing for a few years and taught me a lot.

Ed Joyce, and William Porterfield - Porty's work ethic is second to none. Indeed I try to learn off all our batsmen as they are so experienced.

Which is your favourite Irish cricket ground(s) and what is special about them? Sydney Parade of course because it's my home ground. I love The Hills.

Who is the best young Irish cricketer you have seen in recent times? Josh Little and Lorcan Tucker are both Pembroke lads and pretty exciting cricketers. They seem to have done very well in the recent U19 World Cup.

How would you set about improving the standard of Irish cricket? There needs to be greater investment in the under-age set-ups. They need more games, so I'd get them on tours as much as possible, over in England. More fixtures against quality opposition - anything that gets them continuing to play the game.

How would you set about making Irish cricket more popular? Get the game on RTE. More day/night cricket, more international weekend cricket, coloured clothing in all competitions, senior and youth.

Which Test team, if any, do you support? I like watching New Zealand and the brand of cricket they play.

Which overseas countries have you played cricket in? Australia, New Zealand, India, UAE, Canada, Holland, Denmark, Scotland, England, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malaysia, South Africa.

Which was your favourite(s), and why? Australia. Just superb in terms of everything.

Who is your favourite world cricketer and why? AB De Villiers. He can play any shot at any time in any format.

Which other sports do you play regularly? I played rugby until I was 18 for St Andrew's until I had to give it up. I think that shows as I'm the best tag rugby player in the current squad. (Ireland play rugby as part of their pre-match warm-up routine).

What are your hobbies? I love relaxing listening to music and watching shows on Netflix.

Who is your favourite musical artist(s)? The Gloaming, who are a contemporary Irish music supergroup formed in Ireland in 2011 consisting of musicians Martin Hayes, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Dennis Cahill and New York pianist/producer Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman.

Who is your favourite author(s)? I'm a very keen reader, but don't have a favourite author as such. I'm currently reading "The Boys in The Boat" by Daniel James Brown about the 1936 US Olympic team and their quest for gold at the Berlin Olympics.

Which is your favourite film(s)? The Shawshank Redemption, The Departed, Crash.

What is your favourite newspaper(s)? I quiet like the Irish Independent. They've an excellent cricket correspondent!

What is your favourite television programme(s)? Peaky Blinders, Scandal, Game of Thrones.

What is your favourite web site(s)? CricketEurope of course, Netflix, Google.

What is your favourite type(s) of food? A good sea-food pasta.

Favourite drink(s) - alcoholic and non-alcoholic? Molson Canadian lager/Mango juice.

Where is your favourite place(s) to go on holiday? Just had a great holiday in Portugal.

What sort of car do you drive and what would you like to drive if you could? I drive a Vauxhall Astra. I'm not really big into cars, but I'd like a Kia Sportage.

Which four people (living or dead ) would you like to have at the dinner table. Roger Federer, Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jack Nicholson.