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Stokes Turns Down ‘New Zealander of Year’ Award Nomination, Says Williamson More Deserving

Cricketnext Staff |July 23, 2019, 8:23 PM IST
Stokes Turns Down ‘New Zealander of Year’ Award Nomination, Says Williamson More Deserving

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has backed out from the race to be become ‘New Zealander of the Year’, saying it doesn’t ‘sit right to be nominated for such a prestigious award’. Stokes, who was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, moved to England at a young age with his family before going on to represent Durham and England.

The all-rounder was instrumental in England winning the ICC World Cup title for the first time earlier this month scoring 465 runs including a man-of-the-match-winning unbeaten 84 in the final against New Zealand.

“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,” Stokes said in a statement released by his management firm.

“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 added.

The official shortlist is yet to be made but the 28-year old is an early contender among the public nominations with ‘New Zealander of the Year’ awards chief judge Cameron Bennett quoted on saying, “there’s clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him.”

Apart from Stokes, the New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is also expected to be nominated for the award and the Englishman wants his Kiwi counterpart to win the award.

“I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. He should be revered as a Kiwi legend,” Stokes said in the statement.

“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,” Stokes said about Williamson.

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