ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Stokes responds to Kiwi of the Year nomination
England allrounder urges the country of his birth to get behind Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson
AAP & Cricket Network
24 July 2019, 07:00 AM AEST
England allrounder Ben Stokes says he’s flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year but has added the country's beaten World Cup captain Kane Williamson should win the award.
Stokes, 28, was born in New Zealand but moved to England at the age of 12 when his father Gerard took a rugby league coaching job. Stokes has remained in the UK since, although his parents have returned home and now live in Christchurch.
A man-of-the-match performance in England's dramatic Super Over victory against New Zealand in this month's World Cup final earned Stokes some early nominations for New Zealander of the Year.
In a statement issued through his management on Tuesday, Stokes said that while he was proud of his New Zealand and Maori heritage, the nomination "would not sit right".
"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," Stokes said.
"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."
The website for the New Zealander of the Year states those suitable to win the award “make a significant contribution to our nation and make us proud of our country”. Nominations are open to members of the public.
In 2017, Australian politician Barnaby Joyce received multiple nominations after it was revealed he had New Zealand citizenship as part of a political scandal that saw him disqualified as a member of parliament.
Previous winners of the award include philanthropist in the aged-care sector Kristine Bartlett, filmmaker Taika Waititi and former All Blacks captain Ritchie McCaw.
Last week, New Zealander of the Year chief judge Cameron Bennett said Stokes "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".
Bennett added that the way Williamson conducted himself in the face of devastating disappointment in the final and throughout the World Cup resonated with Kiwis.
"He's been the embodiment of the qualities we cherish as New Zealanders - courage, fairness, humility," he said.
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Tour match: Hick XII v Haddin XII, July 23-26
First Test: Edgbaston, August 1-5
Tour match: Australians v Worcestershire, August 7-9
Second Test: Lord's, August 14-18
Third Test: Headingley, August 22-26
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: Old Trafford, September 4-8
Fifth Test: The Oval, September 12-16