Bizare but true, English cricketer Ben Stokes who broke the hearts of the New Zealand cricketers and fans all over the World has just been nominated for the New Zealander of the Year.
Ben Stokes played major role as England emerged as winner of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 title prevailing over New Zealand owing to superior boundary count.
Stokes was born in New Zealand but moved to the UK with his family at the age of 12 when his father Gerard, who played rugby league for New Zealand, was coaching in England. Stokes has remained in the UK since, although his parents have returned home and now live in the South Island city of Christchurch.
On Friday, it was revealed that Stokes has been nominated for the prestigious Kiwi honour along with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who this week was named Player of the Tournament at the World Cup.
New Zealander of the Year chief judge Cameron Bennett said Stokes “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 added that the way Williamson conducted himself in the face of devastating disappointment in the final and throughout the World Cup resonated with Kiwis.
“He’s been the embodiment of the qualities we cherish as New Zealanders – courage, fairness, humility,” he said.
The website for the New Zealander of the Year states those suitable to win the award “make a significant contribution to our nation and make us proud of our country”. Nominations are open to members of the public.