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Stevens to leave Kent at end of the season but rules out retirement

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Darren Stevens celebrates after a successful LBW appeal

Kent County Cricket Club have announced that veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens is set to leave the county at the end of the season.

Stevens, 43, has played for the county since joining from Leicestershire in 2005, playing 219 first-class matches during his time at Canterbury.

The news comes following Stevens choosing to move on loan to Derbyshire for the T20 Blast.

However, Stevens is adamant that the choice to leave Kent is not an indication of his retirement.

“This is not retirement for me as I think I still have a lot to offer on the pitch, both as a player and a coach and am excited by the next stage in my career.”

The 43-year-old said he would look back proudly at his time with Kent describing his 15-year spell at Canterbury as “amazing”

“It’s been an amazing 15 years.  So many wonderful memories both on and off the pitch and many strong friendships made along the way,” Stevens said.

“I believe I can still do it at the top level, as my recent form shows, and I am looking forward to the remainder of the T20 season with Derbyshire and finishing the season successfully with Kent.

“I will look back at my time with Kent with nothing but happiness and pride but must now look forward to the next challenge.”

The former Leicestershire all-rounder has got 28 wickets in eight matches for Kent in the Championship so far this season, averaging under 25.

Kent’s Director of Cricket Paul Downton recognised the longevity of Stevens whilst also showing regret at the fact he did not win an international call-up.

“Darren has been a wonderful servant to Kent Cricket. For so many years he has been the club’s leading all-rounder, winning a countless number of games for Kent,” Downton said.

“When you look at his record, it is a travesty that Darren Stevens did not receive the international call-up he so richly deserved whilst in his prime.

“It’s now time for a new chapter at Kent with a number of young bowlers, and hopefully an overseas fast bowler next year, all demanding the new ball as the club seeks to keep raising standards and compete for the Division One Championship title.

“We all wish Darren every success in his future exploits and he will always be welcome at the club in the future.”

JOEL KIFFIN / Getty Images

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