Darren Ian Stevens (born 30 April 1976) is an English cricketer. An all-rounder, he bats right handed and bowls right-arm medium-pace. Since his debut in first-class cricket he has played County Cricket for Leicestershire and Kent, as well as featuring for the England Lions and winning the Bangladesh Premier League with both Dhaka Gladiators and Comilla Victorians.
Though his career began slowly with only four County Championship appearances between 1997 and 1999, Stevens made his mark with a century against Sussex which attracted the attention of former England batsman Colin Cowdrey. With the departure of several leading batsmen, Stevens secured a regular county place with Leicestershire and was taken on development tours of Australia in 2003. After moving to Kent in 2004 he began with a prolific season - 1,277 runs in first-class cricket - and improved his bowling. By 2012 he was a prolific scorer in the Championship and in Twenty20 competitions. He has gone on to pass 13,000 runs and 300 wickets in the first-class game. As well as playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, he has played for Mid West Rhinos in Zimbabwe and Otago in New Zealand.
Born in Leicester, Stevens made his debut for his home county of Leicestershire in 1997. He was initially an opening batsman and his first century came in his fourth match, two years later against Sussex. This innings earned him a seal of approval (as well as a painting) from Colin Cowdrey. He remained, however, on the fringes of the side with Aftab Habib and Ben Smith being preferred in the Leicestershire middle-order. After a strong season in 2002, when he scored 850 runs at an average of 32.69, he was called up to England's Academy squad in Australia and was included in their 30-man squad for the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
After two average seasons for Leicestershire, Stevens was released by his home county at the end of the 2004 season, along with Damian Brandy and George Walker. He then joined Kent for the 2005 season. He made a very good start to his Kent career, scoring over 1,000 runs in a season for the first time in his career. 2006 proved to be disappointing by comparison, yet he still averaged 39. His performances in the Pro40 League, however, brought Kent to the verge of promotion.
In 2007 Stevens helped the Kent Spitfires win the Twenty20 Cup, scoring an unbeaten 30 including the winning runs, against Gloucestershire at Edgbaston. However a week later he injured a groin muscle whilst top-scoring in Kent's victory over Durham and did not bowl for the rest of the season. He played for Mid West Rhinos in the 2009–10 Stanbic Bank 20 Series in Zimbabwe and for Otago in New Zealand during the 2010–11 season.
Stevens played for Dhaka Gladiators during the first two Bangladesh Premier League seasons in 2012 and 2013. On both occasions the team won the title. In August 2013, Stevens was charged by the ICC for failing to report two corrupt approaches in connection to games in the BPL. The charges were connected to allegations of match fixing within the Gladiators organisation which saw a total of nine people charged by the ICC. In the last game of the 2013 season, Stevens hit 205 not out and believed that the knock could be his last ever innings. In February 2014, Stevens was found not guilty by the tribunal.
In September 2015 Kent announced that Stevens would be awarded a benefit year in 2016. During the 2015 off-season he returned to Bangladesh to play in the third instalment of the Bangladesh Premier League, playing for Comilla Victorians. He and Victorians captain Mashrafe Mortaza are the only players to have taken part in all three BPL seasons. The team won the 2015 Bangladesh Premier League title with Stevens playing in the final, meaning that he was part of the winning franchise in three BPL titles.
His highest first-class innings is 208, which he achieved while playing for Kent against Glamorgan in 2005. His best bowling figures are 7 for 21, against Surrey in 2011. He won Kent's Player of the Year award in 2005, 2010 and 2013.
as of 15 September 2017