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Darren Stevens set for talks over Kent future after stunning double-century against Yorkshire

Darren Stevens hit a career-best 237 on Monday - and then declared he wants to stay at Kent beyond this summer.

Stevens was told in July that he was going to be released at the end of this season after 15 years at the club.

But the 43-year-old has enjoyed a stunning end to another brilliant summer, leading to many Kent fans calling for the club to rethink their decision.

Kent's Darren Stevens. Picture: Keith Gillard
Kent's Darren Stevens. Picture: Keith Gillard

“I’m loving playing and want to play for another year.," said Stevens.

"My body’s good, I’m bowling my overs and getting my runs now, and I want to keep playing.

"Yes, it will come to an end, but at the minute it’s not that time.

"I’d love to stay. I don’t want to move away from Kent. Let’s see."

Stevens' double-century followed up last week's 10-wicket haul and knock of 88 against Nottinghamshire in seemingly forcing Kent to reconsider his future in Canterbury.

Speaking at the close of play on Monday, director of cricket Paul Downton revealed that further talks will be held with Stevens after what currently stands as his penultimate game for the county.

Downton said: "As I’m sure every Kent supporter will agree, it’s a great day to be associated with our club.

"On behalf of everyone at Kent Cricket, I’d like to congratulate Darren Stevens on his new first-class career best score of 237 runs.

"To score such a big total, at more than a run a ball, is a brilliant achievement and one that quite rightly will steal all the headlines from today’s play across the Specsavers County Championship.

"It’s been a tremendous effort today to secure maximum batting points from the position we found ourselves in at 39-5.

"Congratulations must also go to Sam Billings who scored his second consecutive century.

"Darren has put together some match winning performances for Kent in recent matches and we would be foolish to ignore his recent form.

"Obviously, such performances cannot go unnoticed and we’ll be sitting down with ‘Stevo’ after this match to discuss his future. It has been great to see his return to form."

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent director of cricket Paul Downton. Picture: Ady Kerry

Stevens was joined by skipper Sam Billings in rescuing Kent after they had slipped to 8-3 and then 39-5, producing a club record sixth-wicket partnership of 346 as well as the highest sixth-wicket stand at Headingley.

Stevens said: "The big thing was we were in trouble at 39-5 with myself and Sam (Billings) on nought.

"It was a tough situation, but at 10.30am at Headingley it’s going to nibble around a bit.

"When I came in, I just said, ‘I’m going to be positive - run hard, try and get off strike, tick it over’. That was it really. We were in serious strife.

"My intent was up. Any bit of width or anything full, I was putting my hands through it.

"I don’t know what else to say really.

"When you’re in situations like that, it’s a case of, ‘Let’s try and get to 150, to 180, then to 200’. But it kept going.

"It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s just the situation of the game. They’re a good bowling line-up, and we were 39 for five. We’ve done our job to get us in a good position.

"There could be a case for declaring (overnight) because it’s nipped around in the morning, but I reckon we’ll keep batting."

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