Darren Stevens: Veteran all-rounder gets contract extended at age of 43 after Kent U-turn

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Darren Stevens: Veteran all-rounder still has 'drive & desire' at 43

Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens has been granted his wish for a new contract beyond his 44th birthday by signing up for the 2020 season.

Stevens, 43, will now become England's oldest first-class cricketer when Marcus Trescothick, who is 44 in December, retires later this week.

Kent had decided not to offer him a new deal, but did a U-turn following a spectacular late season run of form.

"I feel I still have a lot to bring. I feel great at the minute," he said.

"I love playing for Kent. I'm really pleased to commit myself to another year at this great county. I feel I have a lot to give to the team on and off the pitch and I'm excited for the year ahead."

Prior to this week's final game against Hampshire, Stevens had taken 34 wickets in five matches, as well as hitting 445 runs at an average of 55.63, capped by a career-best 237 against Yorkshire, at more than a run a ball.

"Stevo has really excelled in this half of the Championship season," said Kent director of cricket Paul Downton. "His phenomenal run of form quite rightly has earned him this new deal.

"He has been a major contributor to our last two wins and has proved he is still a force to be reckoned with in Division One."

Aside from adding to his career haul of 15,633 first-class runs and 517 wickets in 22 years of service for his native county Leicestershire, then Kent, the tireless Stevens also spent the T20 Blast season out on loan with Derbyshire. But he was not selected for their first appearance at Finals Day on Saturday, having played in four group games.

As well as his mammoth innings at Headingley, when he became the oldest man to hit a double century in the Championship since Nottinghamshire's Walter Keeton in 1949, Stevens was also a matchwinner in the previous game.

He claimed match figures of 10-92 against Nottinghamshire, making him the oldest seam bowler to take 10 wickets in a first-class match since Hampshire's Derek Shackleton in 1968.