Darren Stevens: Kent all-rounder to leave county but wants to continue playing at 46 years old

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Darren Stevens has amassed more than 22,000 runs and 43 centuries, playing 630 games for Kent over a 17-year period; the 46-year-old all-rounder is keen to continue playing despite reports of retirement following news of his release

Last Updated: 12/08/22 2:48pm

Darren Stevens will leave Kent at the end of the season after 17 years with the county

Veteran Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens is being released by the county at the end of the season, but he says he wants to continue play at the age of 46.

Stevens joined Kent from Leicestershire in 2005, amassing more than 22,000 runs and 43 centuries, as well as winning the player of the year award numerous times during his 630 games for the county.

Stevens has played in just five LV= Insurance County Championship matches for Kent in 2022, hampered by a collarbone problem, and he recently sustained a calf injury while batting during Kent’s Royal London One-Day Cup match against Glamorgan.

Leicester-born Stevens won the T20 Blast with Leicestershire in 2004 and repeated the feat with Kent in 2007 and 2021. He was also named Wisden Cricketer of the Year for his exploits with the county last year.

“It’s bittersweet that my time at Kent has finally come to an end after such a long run and where I am so proud to have lived out my boyhood dream with such a phenomenal club,” Stevens said. “The memories will stay with me forever.”

“I have been fortunate to have played with some of the greats of the game and created lifelong friendships.

“I am so grateful for being able to do what I love for so long and during that time achieve so many success stories for both myself and the club.”

News of Stevens’ release by Kent led to reports on Friday that he was to retire from cricket, but Stevens is eager to play on.

He told BBC Sport: “I don’t feel like I’m ready to give up.

“I love the game so much. I have that passion for it. That is why I’m still playing now. I still feel like I can do a job with the bat and the ball.”

Stevens is also hopeful that he has not already played his last game for Kent, eyeing up a farewell appearance to say thank you to the club’s fans.

“They’ve kept me going over the years,” he said. “All the ups and downs, they have always been there for me. The biggest thank you I can give is to them.

“It will be emotional. A very proud moment.”

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said of Stevens: “Over the last 25 years Darren Stevens has been an inspirational cricketer.

“His ability to time a cricket stroke and his subtle skill with the ball have made him a crowd favourite wherever he has played.

“His numbers are remarkable in the modern era, which, along with his ability to influence and win matches, make him a true Kent legend.

“It is unthinkable that a player of his talent was never selected to play international cricket.”

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