Published: 19:30, 29 August 2020
Kent’s veteran bowler Darren Stevens has signed a new contract with the county.
The 44-year-old has shown no sign of slowing down in the past month, taking 20 wickets in the Bob Willis Trophy at an average of 19.
Stevens said: “I’m thrilled to commit another year to Kent. I love playing for this county and it’s no secret that I didn’t want this shortened season to be the way I finished up. So I’m delighted that my recent form has shown I still have a lot left to give to the club.
“I’m feeling great at the moment and really driven. We have a great squad here at Kent, and it’s definitely an exciting place to be.
“I’d also like to thank the members and supporters for their continued support. We’ve definitely missed them at the ground this year and I look forward to being able to play in front of them again as soon as possible.”
Stevens, who is not playing in the T20 format this year, remains an important part of Kent’s red ball side.
He looked to be on his way out of the county just over a year ago after Kent said they’d not be renewing his deal.
But his form meant Kent were left with no option than to perform a u-turn and keep the popular Stevens in their ranks . Stevens his a career-best 237 against Yorkshire and took seven wickets including 5-20 in the second innings of that match, just a week after taking 10 wickets and scoring 88 against Nottinghamshire.
Stevens was one of three Kent bowlers – along with Harry Podmore and Matt Milnes – to take more than 50 Championship wickets last summer, his 52 wickets costing 17.57 apiece. Such was Stevens' contribution, he was named Kent's player of the year for 2019 .
It means Stevens will start his 17th season for Kent in 2021 – and he’ll become the oldest county cricketer on the circuit since the mid-1990s.
Stevens first made his debut for Leicestershire in 1997.
Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said: “Darren has once again shown himself to be one of our most effective bowlers in first-class cricket this season.
“He has proved to us that he is still an integral part of our bowling attack with the red ball.
“His wealth of experience is also invaluable as we continue to build a team capable of winning trophies.”