Stokes was born in New Zealand and moved to England when he was 12
England all-rounder Ben Stokes is one of the early nominations for New Zealander of the Year Award.
The Kiwi-born all-rounder joins an elite group of nominations in the form of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, Newstalk ZB host Simon Barnett, former Rugby League star Manu Vatuvei and Abdul Aziz, who rose to prominence after his bravery during the Christchurch mosque attack.
Stokes was born in New Zealand and moved to England when he was 12. His performance in the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup final earned him the player of the match award, while also ensuring a maiden World Cup victory for the hosts England.
Earlier Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who are set to replace current Prime Minister Theresa May later this month, responded positively after being asked about a potential knighthood for England’s World Cup hero during a debate.
The chief judge for the New Zealander of the Year Awards Cameron Bennett stated that Williamson was a strong candidate for this year’s award.
“The way he [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. He's been the embodiment of the qualities we cherish as New Zealanders – courage, fairness, humility,” said Bennett.
The chief judge regarded the early nomination of Stokes as ‘interesting’ but said that his New Zealand roots helped him get the nomination.
“Interesting, too, to see some character having a bob each way: we also received nominations for England's hero, Ben Stokes,” he said. “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.”
The nominations for the award are expected to close on September 15.