Stevens keen to carry on
Stevens keen to carry on

Darren Stevens is set to say farewell to Kent at the end of this season but the all-rounder has no intention of calling time on his career.

At the age of 43, Stevens believes he still has something to offer after it was announced he will be leaving Kent after 15 years.

Since joining them from Leicestershire in 2005, Stevens has scored 11,718 runs and taken 487 wickets in 219 first-class matches and his recent success in the Specsavers County Championship proves he remains a formidable opponent.

Derbyshire had no hesitation in taking Stevens on loan for the Vitality Blast after Kent agreed he could join another county for the competition.

Stevens did not figure in T20 cricket last season and did not want to go through another summer without playing in the shortest form of the game.

“I was told I wasn’t going to be involved in the Twenty20s so I thought what am I going to do for six weeks?” he said.

“I could have had a break but I learned from last year when I had four weeks off. I know my body and I need to keep playing and ticking over so I asked to go on loan but they wouldn’t let me but this year I’m out of contract so they said they would let me go.

“I put my name on a loan sheet and Houghts (Dave Houghton) rang me the next day and said, ‘How do you fancy a loan stint at Derby for the T20s’ and I snapped his hand off.”

Whatever happens over the coming weeks with Derbyshire, Stevens wants to be playing first-class cricket next season and a recent chat with Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto confirmed his determination to keep going.

“I spoke to Michael a couple of weeks ago when we were at Surrey and said, ‘What do you reckon mate?’ He asked me how I was feeling, how I was hitting and how the ball was coming out and I said great.

“He said, ‘So why are you even thinking about retiring?’ and then I go and get five wickets that day! I feel great at the minute and age is just a number.

“My body has been really good this year, I feel like I’m doing my job. In the champo I’ve got 30 wickets, a couple of five-fers in the last two games and personally I feel like I’ve still got a lot to give. I want to do another year at least.

“I suppose the bigger picture is this is a bit of a shop window but in my head it’s not and I’m trying not to think about it like that. I want to win games of cricket for Derbyshire in T20.”