Stokes says Williamson will be ‘worthy recipient’ of New Zealander of Year accolade

PTI, Jul 24, 2019, 8:59 AM IST

London: Nominated for New Zealander of the Year award, England’s World Cup hero Ben Stokes has graciously turned it down, saying Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson is the “worthy recipient” of the accolade.

The 28-year-old Stokes was born in New Zealand’s Christchurch but moved to England aged 12, going on to establish himself in the England setup.

The all-rounder was named Man of the Match after he broke Kiwi hearts with his gallant show in the epic World Cup final recently.

“I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year,” he posted on his social media accounts.

“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 amassed 465 runs and took seven wickets in the World Cup as England edged out New Zealand in a thriller, decided by boundary count, at Lord’s on July 14 to clinch their maiden title.

“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,” Stokes concluded.

In the final, Stokes smashed 84 runs to help England level the scores at 241 and take the match to the Super Over. Along with Jos Buttler, Stokes then plundered 15 runs in six balls.

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