Millennium Post

Stokes feels Williamson deserves New Zealander of the Year award

London: England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Tuesday turned down a nomination to be the New Zealander of the Year. He went on to add that the award would suit someone like New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

"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," said Stokes in a statement.

Stokes, son of former New Zealand rugby player and coach Gerard 'Ged' Stokes, was Man of the Match in the final of the 2019 World Cup in which England beat New Zealand to lift the trophy for the first time. He moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 12 and said that his "life is firmly established" in the country.

Stokes also endorsed Williamson's nomination and said that his vote goes for the New Zealand captain.

"I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson," said Stokes.

"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."

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