Darren Stevens, the Kent allrounder who turned 45 in April, has signed a contract extension that will keep him playing until the end of the 2022 season.
Stevens seems to defy the effects of ageing even more enthusiastically with each passing year. He currently leads the Kent batting averages in the County Championship, having struck an astonishing 190 from 149 balls against Glamorgan in May - including 160 out of a 166-run ninth-wicket stand with Miguel Cummins. He is also their highest wicket-taker, with 26 at 19.65.
Earlier this month, he returned to Kent's T20 side for the first time since 2017, becoming in the process the first man to have scored 1000 runs and taken 100 wickets for the club in all three formats of the game.
"I've worked hard to continue to earn my place in the Kent playing XI across all formats this year, and I'm feeling fit and strong to continue to make more contributions as a Kent player," Stevens said. "There's a great group of lads here and we're all focused on delivering good performances and winning more games of cricket for Kent."
Unlike in 2019, when Kent announced they would not be renewing Stevens' contract, only for him to force a change of course by producing a career-best 237 from 225 balls, the club have since been quick to reward the cult-status allrounder for his continued good form.
He has been an ever-present for Kent in first-class cricket since then, and in April was named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year for his efforts last summer - making him the oldest recipient of the award since 1933.
Kent's director of cricket, Paul Downton, said: "Darren continues to be an invaluable member of the Kent team and I'm delighted that he will be with us for another season in 2022.
"Darren's skills are very underrated. Over the last couple of seasons, the pitches at Canterbury have regularly achieved the top mark of 'very good', which has seen Darren become even more effective as a bowler. He has also worked really hard on his batting to trust his defence again. The results have been spectacular.
"The fact that he has worked his way back into our Vitality Blast team for the first time in four years is a huge testament to his hunger to keep improving and his desire to keep on playing the game he loves. 'Stevo' has rightly earned his hero status amongst not only Kent members and supporters, but fans of cricket in general, and I'm sure this news will be greeted with the congratulations it deserves."