England’s World Cup-winning all-rounder Ben Stokes on Tuesday admitted that he was ‘flattered’ on being nominated for the New Zealander of the Year, but wants Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson to take home the award.
The 28-year-old scored 465 runs and took seven wickets in the World Cup as England edged out New Zealand in a thriller at Lords on 14 July to clinch their first title.
The left-handed batsman, in an Instagram post, went onto praise Kane Williamson and state why the Kiwi skipper deserved the award.
“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.
“I have helped England lift a World Cup and my life is firmly established in the UK – it has been since I was 12-years old," he said.
“I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. 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 concluded.
In the final, Stokes scored 84 runs to guide the hosts to 241 and enforce the match towards a Super Over. He and Jos Buttler then powered England to 15 runs in the Super Over after they batted first.
However, a costly Martin Guptill run-out during Kiwi’s chase in the very last ball meant that the scores were level once again and England were crowned champions on the basis of most boundaries scored.
Ben Stokes was born in Christchurch, New Zealand to former rugby league player Gerard and his wife Deb. Stokes moved to England when he was 12-years-old and has been so in England since despite his parents moving back to Christchurch.