My All-Time Kent Spitfires XI: Darren Stevens

Thursday 16th April 2020

Men’s First XI

My All-Time Kent Spitfires XI: Darren Stevens

Nobody has played more matches for the Kent Spitfires in Twenty20 cricket than Darren Stevens.

‘Stevo’ has been there and done it – a Twenty20 Cup winner in 2007, a three-time finalist as a Spitfire, and our second highest run-scorer in the format after Joe Denly. Since joining Kent in 2005, Stevens has featured in 158 games of T20 cricket for the Club.

We caught up with Stevo before the Club’s players went on furlough leave to find out, in his words, the greatest Kent Spitfires T20 XI consisting only of players that he has played alongside:

1. Rob Key – Captain

“Keysey has a brilliant cricket brain. He was an outstanding opening batsman.

“Developing the lap sweep reinvented him as a T20 player!”

2. Joe Denly

“I’d say Joe’s the best T20 opening batsman I’ve played with.

“He’s also a brilliant boundary rider with a rocket arm.”

3. Azhar Mahmood

“An absolute legend of the game! New ball, old ball, genius.

“He found his position in the order at three over time and made it his own.”

4. Martin Van Jaarsveld

“A natural pick for a vice-captain of this team.

“He was an exceptional top-order player, and adapted his game brilliantly to all formats.

“Also an amazing fielder, anywhere.”

5. Alex Blake

“One of the most explosive left-handed batsmen I’ve ever seen.

“I’ve also never seen shots over the off-side quite like the way Alex hits them! He’s also excellent against spin.”

6. Justin Kemp

“A dangerous middle-order batsman. He could hit it out of any ground in the world!”

7. Sam Billings – Wicketkeeper

“He definitely gets in, based on his natural ability with the gloves and the bat.

“He plays all the shots.”

8. Ryan McLaren

“What an exceptional all-round cricketer – more than a handy batsman.

“He has brilliant skills with the ball and he’s one of the best fielders I’ve ever played with.”

9. Yasir Arafat

“An absolute wizard!

“His new ball skills are outstanding and he was also great bowling at the death.”

10. James Tredwell

“A wiley off-spinner with some great skills in white-ball cricket.

“He was also a very handy left-handed batsman and was a brilliant catcher – buckets!”

11. Morné Morkel

“This bloke was one of the main reasons we made it to Finals Day in 2007.

“Raw pace, bounce and a seriously tough bowler to hit around.”