New Zealand born England all-rounder Ben Stokes politely turned down the nomination he had received to be honoured as the New Zealander of the Year. He suggested that the award was more suited to someone like New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson.
“I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year. I am proud of my New Zealand and Maori heritage but it would not sit right with me to be nominated for this prestigious award. There are people who deserve this recognition more and have done a lot more for the country of New Zealand,” said the all-rounder in a statement.
Ben Stokes, whose father Gerard Stokes represented New Zealand in rugby, was adjudged the Player of the Match in the biggest platform in One Day International (ODI) Cricket- the World Cup final. It was his innings which turned the game around for England and allowed them to lift the trophy for the first time.
Stokes moved to the United Kingdom when he was 12 and admitted that his life is established in the country. Notably, Ben Stokes advocated for Kane Williamson as he said that if he were to vote, he would vote for Kane Williamson.
“I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson,” said Stokes.
“He should be revered as a Kiwi legend. He led his team in this World Cup with distinction and honour. He was the Player of the Tournament and an inspirational leader of men.
“He shows humility and empathy to every situation and is an all-round good bloke. He typifies what it is to be a New Zealander. He would be a worthy recipient of this accolade. New Zealand, fully support him. He deserves it and gets my vote.” he added.
After failing to clinch their maiden World Cup title, many New Zealand players were disappointed. Martin Guptill was in fact spotted crying.
Their skipper, however, after initial moments of disbelief, carried himself with utmost maturity and even donned a smile at the post-match presentation and the press conference.
Williamson’s press conference reportedly got a standing ovation from the journalists after he was done answering all the questions. Social media too could not help but salute Williamson’s sportsmanship.