Stevens keen to extend Kent stay
Stevens keen to extend Kent stay

Kent’s prolific all-rounder Darren Stevens is confident he will soon put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension after enjoying his best ever season with the ball.

The 41-year-old picked up the Derek Underwood Award as Kent’s bowler-of-the-season at Friday night’s presentation evening at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, and revealed that he hopes to stay with the club he has served so admirably since joining from Leicestershire in 2005.

“I have been offered a contract, which I’m really pleased about, but I’ve not signed it as yet,” conceded Stevens.

“There are a couple of things, small things, that we need to have a chat about first. But given my personal performances this season I’d like to think we can iron those points out and we can all look forward to another year.”

As for winning the county’s bowler-of-the-year award after taking a career-best tally of 63 first-class wickets in a season, the 41-year-old veteran, who has also been named in BBC Sport’s county team-of-the-year, said: “Most people who know me understand that I thrive on winning games and team trophies, and through personal awards are nice, for me it’s all about winning games. We play the game to win silverware.

“We were so desperate to finish the season on a high but it just wasn’t to be. We had all-four days washed out at Chesterfield then faced some high-class bowling from Glamorgan’s Michael Hogan back here. We were in the driving seat against Glamorgan, but ‘Hoges’ ran in, took six for spit and knocked the stuffing out of us.

“The boys were tired, as they should be because it’s been a long season, but I felt we gave it a decent shot right until the end of the season. But yes, there’s no escaping the fact that, all in all, it’s been a disappointing year.”

Kent’s top award of player-of the season, voted for by the club’s supporters, went to Joe Denly, who also won the Mike Denness Award as batsman-of-the-season after scoring almost 1,900 runs across the three competitions.

Sean Dickson collected the Alan Ealham Award as fielder-of-the-year, while, for Kent women, Alice Davidson-Richards was named player-of-the-season with Phoebe Franklin selected as fielder-of-the-year.

Meanwhile, Kent have released seam bowler Charlie Hartley, 23, and all-rounder Adam Ball, 24, who both made farewell appearances against the West Indies in August.

Hartley, from Worcestershire, found first-team opportunities hard to come by in his four seasons with the club making only 12 appearances across the formats.

Ball, who has already played a couple of trial matches for Leicestershire 2nds, played 101 times for Kent in all formats. A former England Under-19 player, he came through the age group ranks with the club to make his first-class debut in 2011.