All-rounder Ben Stokes who anchored England to their maiden World Cup victory on Sunday, July 14, broke the hearts of the New Zealand public as he is actually a Kiwi. Even after being adjudged the Man of the Match in the finals, he has been nominated for the prestigious 'New Zealander of the Year' award for his Kiwi roots, alongside Kane Williamson.
Stokes’ World Cup campaign was clinical as he scored 465 runs and claimed seven wickets for England. His 84 off 98 balls helped England tie the intense Final on Sunday, he also scored eight in the Super Over which also ended in a tie as England were crowned World Cup champions on boundary count.
New Zealander of the Year Awards Chief Judge Cameron Bennett said the Kiwis still consider Stokes as one of New Zealand's own, given that he was born in Christchurch.
"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," said Bennett
Player of the tournament and Black Caps skipper, Williamson, who showed immaculate composure during New Zealand's heart-breaking loss in the final and led the team from the front throughout the tournament has also received multiple nominations.
"The way (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." Bennett said.
A 10 candidate shortlist will be announced in December, the 2020 winner will be revealed in February at the New Zealander of the Year Gala Awards.