Allrounder Ben Stokes, who guided England to triumph over New Zealand in the final of the cricket World Cup, has been nominated as New Zealander of the Year.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has also been nominated.
Stokes match-winning innings of 84 enabled England to tie New Zealand’s score of 241-8 and he at that point helped the homegroup win after a tie-breaking “super over” in which the two groups scored 15 runs. England won on a countback of boundaries hit during the match.
Stokes was born in New Zealand yet moved to England with his family when he was 12. His dad Gerard, who played rugby group for New Zealand, was then training in England.
Stokes has stayed in England since however his folks Gerard and Deb came back to live in the South Island city of Christchurch.
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 are clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him.”
Bennett said 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.