County News - Kent November 3, 2004

Darren Stevens signs for Kent

Cricinfo staff

Darren Stevens has joined Kent © Getty Images

Darren Stevens, who was not offered a new contract by Leicestershire at the end of last season, has signed a two-year deal with Kent to bolster their middle-order batting.

Stevens, 28, made his debut for Leicestershire in 1997, but failed to establish a place in the side until Aftab Habib and Ben Smith had left. He toured with the England Academy side in 2002-03, was in the final squad of 30 for the last World Cup, and has made over 600 runs in each of the last three seasons. But the feeling lingered at Grace Road that he never quite fulfilled the potential that his vibrant strokeplay suggested.

"A number of counties have shown an interest in me," he said, "but the opportunity to play on good wickets and in a side with real ambition persuaded me to come to Kent. I feel I still have much to prove and look forward to doing so in the seasons ahead."

Kent recently lost Ed Smith to Middlesex and Alex Loudon to Warwickshire, and were among the counties that failed to sign Kevin Pietersen, who eventually went to Hampshire.

Graham Johnson, the Kent chairman, said: "We look forward to Darren adding to the list of Kent players who have represented their country. We know that he has the desire to fulfil his undoubted potential and felt that Kent would give him the best possible opportunity to do so. This is another important step in the development of our squad for next season."