Darren Stevens will leave Kent at the end of the current season after 15 years with the club but has no intention of retiring from the professional game.
Stevens, 43, joined Kent from Leicestershire in 2005 and has enjoyed an outstanding career with bat and ball, scoring 11,718 first-class runs and claiming 487 wickets for his second county.
He is currently on loan to Derbyshire for the T20 Blast, but had continued to be impressive with the ball in the County Championship with 28 wickets at 24.21 in eight matches although runs had been harder to come by with an average of 20.36.
“It’s been an amazing 15 years,” Stevens said. “So many wonderful memories both on and off the pitch and many strong friendships made along the way. This is not retirement for me as I think I still have a lot to offer on the pitch, both as a player and a coach and am excited by the next stage in my career.
“I believe I can still do it at the top level, as my recent form shows, and I am looking forward to the remainder of the T20 season with Derbyshire and finishing the season successfully with Kent. I will look back at my time with Kent with nothing but happiness and pride but must now look forward to the next challenge.”
Kent have an eye on the future and want to invest in their younger players while also hoping to bring in an overseas fast bowler next season.
“When you look at his record, it is a travesty that Darren Stevens did not receive the international call-up he so richly deserved whilst in his prime,” Paul Downton, Kent’s director of cricket, said. “It’s now time for a new chapter at Kent with a number of young bowlers, and hopefully an overseas fast bowler next year, all demanding the new ball as the club seeks to keep raising standards and compete for the Division One Championship title.”
Retaining the core ‘probably the best way’ – Justin Langer on Test selection
Australian cricket is moving on from the crisis that enveloped them after the events in Cape Town, but for some time to come there will remain the dividing line of before Newlands and after Newlands when assessing the state of the national team and the overall game.
Barring a late change of heart or an injury, Australia are set to name an unchanged side for the third Test in a row when they face New Zealand in Perth on Thursday. The last time they went three Tests with the same XI was on the tour of South Africa, in the first three matches of the series before things fell apart in Cape Town.
“I’d be a brave man to change the XI,” Justin Langer said. “The boys are playing well. We’ve still got a couple of training sessions, we haven’t had a look at the wicket yet but I’d say at this stage more than likely we’ll have the same XI.”
It is another stepping stone in the rebuilding of the Test side which has gathered momentum in recent months. There were missed opportunities in England to earn better than a 2-2 share of the series – a reminder that, in the batting especially, the team remained a work in progress – but the start of this summer has been very convincing against Pakistan, to the point that Travis Head and Tim Paine only batted once in the series.
There were tactical reasons for the pace-bowling changes made during the Ashes as a horses-for-courses approach was taken for each ground before Australia overthought the process at The Oval and picked the wrong side. This summer there is a sense they are keeping things simple, helped, of course, by innings victories where almost everyone has looked in good form. The season started with questions over the batting order and, while Australia will need to be more thoroughly tested than they were by Pakistan, it is likely this top six will now remain for the summer.
James Pattinson, whose unavailability for the opening Test of the season due to his code of conduct suspension turned a potentially tricky head-to-head decision with Mitchell Starc into a no contest, remains in the squad. Michael Neser will join having played the Sheffield Shield match against Queensland at the SCG, but there is little prospect of them breaking apart the trio of Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
“I’ve said for 18 months there used to be a philosophy in Australian cricket which worked so well for us, it’s harder to get into the Australian cricket team than it is to get out of it,” Langer said. “That usually happens when guys are playing well and the team is playing well. We’ve won the last couple of Test matches. There’s definite benefit and advantage in keeping the core group of players together and hopefully this will be another opportunity this week to do that.”
The much sought-after continuity in selection does not mean, however, that Australia will shelve the approach they took in England although there is now a good chance – with a nine-day gap between the Perth and Melbourne Tests – that these three quicks could feature throughout the whole summer, although a potential change to the balance of the side for the SCG still looms.
“I’ll let everyone else to judge if it’s [Australia’s] the best attack in the world, statistically, we aren’t yet in terms of rankings but the guys are moving up and are getting better and better as a unit.”
“Certainly, there was benefit in that [rotation] in England. We had six healthy, fit fast bowlers available to us and in different conditions,” Langer said. “We had a very specific game plan on how we thought we’d retain the Ashes so we used it to our advantage there.
“There’s some different conditions here in Australia – the SCG might be different to Optus Stadium or the Gabba. But at the moment the three guys – Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood – they’re a quality combination with Nathan Lyon, they’re bowling really well, they’re fit and healthy and there’s a bit of a gap between Test matches. From that point of view that’s probably the best way we’ll go about this Test match.”
Starc was the one most impacted by the selections in the Ashes, playing just once at Old Trafford in the match where the Ashes were retained, but after some early-season tinkering with New South Wales bowling coach Andre Adams, he has been much more consistent this season. There is a good contest at the moment for the tag of ‘best pace attack in the world’ with India laying a very strong claim and while Langer would not be drawn into a definite answer on that, he lauded the bench strength that’s available.
“I’d rather have it as our side than play against it, no doubt,” he said. “Put Nathan Lyon in it who’s just brilliant then it’s a very good attack. I’ll let everyone else to judge if it’s the best attack in the world, statistically, we aren’t yet in terms of rankings but the guys are moving up and are getting better and better as a unit. I’ve said since England if we make enough runs we’ll win a lot of games because we have a very good pace-bowling attack, the best offspin bowling in the world I’d say and James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser – there’s some really good depth as well. It’s a nice position to be in.”
Recent Match Report – Tasmania vs South Australia, Sheffield Shield, 18th Match
South Australia 346 (Weatherald 126, Carey 73, Bird 4-70) and 4 for 170 beat Tasmania 254 (Milenko 100, Agar 3-68) and 261 (McDermott 89, Agar 5-53) by six wickets
An unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 136 between Harry Nielsen and William Bosisto delivered South Australia their first Sheffield Shield victory after a drought of 18 matches over 659 days, in what was also the 161st – and last – first-class game for the Australian selector-in-waiting George Bailey.
The Redbacks, as may have been expected given their run of defeats, made life hard for themselves by slipping to 4 for 34 in pursuit of 170 to beat Tasmania by six wickets at Bellerive Oval, as Gabe Bell and Riley Meredith found swing and bounce respectively with the new ball.
However Nielsen – with only one half century from his previous 15 innings for SA – and the former West Australian Bosisto fought their way through the difficult period and did not offer a chance as they glided home, doing so on the stroke of tea in Hobart.
Resuming at 6 for 241 on the final morning, the Tigers could add only 20 runs to their overnight total, as Chadd Sayers and Wes Agar combined potently for the visitors. Agar’s eight wickets for the game were to earn him Player-of-the-Match honours, while SA also had reason to thank Jake Weatherald, the captain Alex Carey, Joe Mennie and Nick Winter for their first innings batting contributions.
Nevertheless, victory looked a long way off when Bell swerved the newish ball into Henry Hunt’s back pad and then Callum Ferguson’s off stump, while at the other end Meredith drew edges from Weatherald and Carey. An older ball meant that conditions eased for Nielsen and Bosisto, but they showed a remarkable level of composure in knocking off the runs with minimal fuss.
Bailey was left to bowl the final over of the match, clad in his state cap, before accepting congratulations from both sides for a long and fruitful red-ball career that featured five Test match appearances in the 2013-14 Ashes and a leading hand in all three of Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield-winning seasons.
Recent Match Report – New South Wales vs Queensland, Sheffield Shield, 17th Match
New South Wales 375 (Henriques 116, Nevill 88*, Abbott 86, Neser 4-60) and 1 for 42 (Hughes 27, Swepson 1-27) beat Queensland 240 and 176 (Khawaja 54, O’Keefe 3-28) by nine wickets
New South Wales shrugged off appalling air conditions in Sydney to record a nine-wicket victory over Queensland at the SCG and go to the Big-Bash-League break at the top of the Sheffield Shield table with five wins and a draw after six matches.
On a day when NSW health authorities held an afternoon press conference advising all caught in the bushfire-smoke-filled air around Sydney to stay indoors and the harbour’s ferry service was suspended due to low visibility, the Blues and Bulls played out the final act of their contest after Dr John Orchard assessed conditions with match officials and concluded it was safe to play.
Not only was the air a concern on a breathing level, the smoke was so thick that visibility also looked to be an issue for players on both sides – reminiscent of some of the worst smog-induced conditions seen at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi from time to time.
On Friday, Cricket NSW had advised club and community cricket organisations to consider cancelling weekend matches amidst similar conditions emanating from the bushfires that have engulfed the east coast of Australia in recent weeks.
Resuming at 5 for 111, still needing another 25 runs to make NSW bat again, Queensland suffered arguably the decisive blow in the first half an hour when Trent Copeland coaxed an outside edge from Usman Khawaja from around the wicket.
Michael Neser and Mitchell Swepson kept the Bulls’ wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson company for long enough to allow the visitors to forge a lead, but when Peirson was last out, shortly before lunch, they had left the Blues needing just 42. This was enough to allow Swepson the wicket of Daniel Hughes, but with only another four runs required.
The allrounder Moises Henriques was named Player of the Match for his match-shaping first-innings century.
Andy Ruiz Jr net worth: How much is boxing star worth after Anthony Joshua defeat?
Man Utd owners the Glazers make decision on Mauricio Pochettino and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Giants’ Eli Manning, uncertain of future, turns back clock for a half
What Ed Woodward wants to do to Man Utd squad in January after message from Glazers
Patriots say video crew filmed sideline during Bengals-Browns game
Arsenal fans produced brilliant chant during West Ham Premier League win
Retaining the core ‘probably the best way’ – Justin Langer on Test selection
Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery (foot), Lane Johnson (ankle) injured vs. Giants
Sources — MLB draft moving from N.J. to Omaha
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used Chelsea to target two Man City players in derby win
Soccer4 days ago
Everton identify Vitor Pereira as surprise new candidate to replace sacked Marco Silva
Soccer4 days ago
Arsenal news: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang toilet break controversy, reaction, Freddie Ljunberg
NFL5 days ago
Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate – Fantasy football picks, sleepers, busts for Week 14
Soccer5 days ago
Marco Silva sack LIVE: Everton decision imminent, David Moyes return, Moshiri arrives
Cricket5 days ago
Icon, survivor, grandee: Farewell Bob Willis, the man with the longest run
Soccer6 days ago
Virgil van Dijk makes Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo statement after Ballon d'Or furore
Soccer6 days ago
Football news, Ballon d’Or 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, voting, Giorgio Chiellini, Real Madrid, Juventus, transfers
NFL5 days ago
Cowboys’ Antwaun Woods arrested on marijuana, tampering charges