A former South Africa Under-19 international, McLaren joined Martin van Jaarsveld as Kent’s second Kolpak player for 2007.
He registered his maiden first-class hundred (140) against the Warriors in 2006 while also taking seven wickets in the same fixture.
His rise to prominence for Kent culminated came in the Twenty20 Cup final when he took a hat-trick to ensure victory for his side.
His all-round skills played a major part in Kent's 2007 campaign, as he was the county's leading wicket-taker in the LV County Championship with 44 victims and scored 272 runs.
McLaren managed 49 championship wickets in 2008, second only to Robbie Joseph’s 55 in the Kent ranks, but could not prevent the county suffering relegation plus defeat in the Friends Provident Trophy and Twenty20 Cup finals.
Two first-class half-centuries, and an ultimately futile 63 in the Trophy final underlined his batting ability.
It was certainly a factor in South Africa’s decision to name him in the one-day international squad to face Kenya and Bangladesh, a call representative of South Africa’s desire to persuade Kolpak players to return.
But Kent blocked his release, as they were entitled to do. However in 2009 he was relased to go back to South Africa and press his claims for international recognition.