On July 14, Ben Stokes denies Kiwis their ICC World Cup trophy with his heroics for England in the final at the Lord’s. Four days later, the New Zealand-born English cricketer is in line for a prestigious New Zealand honour.
New Zealander of the Year Awards Chief Judge Cameron Bennett said some were still trying to claim Stokes as one of New Zealand’s own, given that he was born in Christchurch.
Stokes broke the Black Caps’ heart with his stellar show but now England all-rounder has been nominated for the prestigious ‘New Zealander of the Year’ award for his Kiwi roots, alongside Kane Williamson.
Stokes produced a superlative performance at the World Cup, amassing 465 runs and claiming seven wickets for England. His 84 off 98 balls helped England tie the epic final at the Lord’s last Sunday. He also scored eight in the Super Over which also ended in a tie as England were adjudged World Cup winners on boundary count.
New Zealander of the Year Awards Chief Judge Cameron Bennett said some were still trying to claim Stokes as one of New Zealand’s own, given that he was born in Christchurch. “He might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch, where his parents now live, and with Maori ancestry, there’s clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him,” Bennett was quoted as saying instuff.co.nz.
Player of the tournament, Williamson, who showed immaculate composure during New Zealand’s heart-breaking loss in the final, has also received multiple nominations. “The way (Williamson) conducted himself, not only in the face of such devastating disappointment at Lord’s but throughout the tournament, resonated powerfully with Kiwis from all walks of life,” Bennett said.
“He (Williams) has been the embodiment of the qualities we cherish as New Zealanders — courage, fairness, humility.”
A shortlist of 10 candidates to be considered for the award will be announced in December, with the 2020 winner revealed at the New Zealander of the Year Gala Awards in February.