Kent’s Darren Stevens hopes runs and wickets for the Spitfires will finally help catch the eye of the IPL franchise holders and fulfil a dream of plying his undoubted Twenty20 skills on the world stage.
The day after taking career-best first-class bowling figures of 7 for 21 against Surrey, Stevens announced his intentions to give the long-winded IPL auction process one last try this winter.
“I’m looking to get into a couple of domestic t20 sides overseas and I’m speaking to clubs in Zimbabwe and New Zealand again, but the dream is still IPL,” said 35-year-old Stevens.
“I’ve spoken with my agent about it, but a lot of it depends on how much the ECB value me at because they charge us a fee for going to IPL.
“Putting it very simply, if I went for £50,000 at the IPL auction I’d be out of pocket to the ECB, and as much as I want to go, I can’t afford to be paying out to the board.
“We went in last time with a valuation of around £100,000, but I’m not a name over there and have never played international cricket, so I understand it’s a big ask.”
Stevens, who hit the runs that secured Kent their t20 title in 2007, already boasts an impressive record in the short form game and, with 106 appearances [placing him 18th on the world list], has played more t20 than any other English cricketer.
His batting statistics are also impressive. Having already reaped 2206 runs, he boasts a strike rate of 134.51 per 100 balls, which places him in the world’s top 10.
His 84 competition sixes go to prove Stevens’ ability to hit the ball out the park, while his excellent out fielding and naggingly accurate swing bowling can only help his bid for an IPL berth.
He added: “I’ve already sent a DVD off to some of the franchises and I placed some action clips on Dropbox on the internet. A couple of franchises showed some initial interest, but they seem to want big names.
“The other way in for me maybe to talk to the coaches, many of whom are Australian or South African. The IPL is an unfulfilled dream for me. I’ve played in a few t20 finals days over here now and I love the atmosphere, but the IPL is like our finals day for every game and I think I’d revel in it.
“Of course, my ultimate is to be picked by England, but playing IPL would push it a pretty close second.”