England’s Ben Stokes Nominated for NZer of the Year
Christchurch-born Ben Stokes, 28, is already receiving award nominations for his match-winning role in England’s Cricket World Cup win – but not from who you would expect, BBC Sport reports.
Despite breaking New Zealand’s heart at Lord’s, he has been nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award, the news outlet writes.
Stokes was man of the match on the final day of the World Cup as England beat New Zealand in a dramatic final.
But the all-rounder was born in New Zealand before moving to England when he was 12 – and it seems some New Zealanders still see him as their own.
“He might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch, where his parents now live, and with Māori ancestry, there’s clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him,” the award’s chief judge Cameron Bennett said.
The New Zealand public nominates “inspirational Kiwis” for the award – those who they believe have made a “significant contribution to our nation and make us proud of our country”.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, 28, has also been nominated and will likely prove tough opposition for Stokes after he was named player of the tournament at the World Cup.
Nominations close in September before a judging panel will create a shortlist on 10 candidates to be announced in December.
The final winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in February.
Original article by BBC Sport, July 19, 2019.