Despite debuting for his home club Leicestershire in 1997, Darren Stevens did not achieve anything substantial until his fourth match in 1999, where he scored his maiden first-class century against Sussex.
A right-hand batsman and right-arm medium pacer, Stevens made sporadic appearances in the county, before batsmen like Aftab Habib and Ben Smith left the side. Taking advantage of the vacuum created, he put up an impressive show with the bat and made his way to the National Academy squad that toured Australia in 2002-03. He was also a part of the 30-man squad for the ICC 2003 Cricket World Cup. Stevens left the county to join Kent in 2005, only to continue his prowess as their star batsman. His first season fetched him more than 1000 runs. He repeated the feat in 2009 and also proved his worth as a destructive force in the shorter format of the game with an average of nearly 60. The all-rounder is also an important bowling option for Kent.