Ben Stokes pulls out of New Zealander of the Year award
The England All-Rounder backs Kane Williamson instead
Last Updated: 23/07/19 2:49pm
Ben Stokes says he is flattered to be nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award but has pulled out of the running after saying it does not 'sit right'.
Stokes, who was born in Christchurch but moved to Durham in England at the age of 12, was nominated after helping England to victory in the Cricket World Cup final earlier this month.
He made 84 against New Zealand in the final at Lord's and then returned to the crease with Jos Buttler as England won with victory in the Super Over.
The England all-rounder says he is honoured to be recognised but that it did not feel right to be named on the list.
"I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year," Stokes said in an official statement.
"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.
"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."
Stoke instead has urged the award to go to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who was named player of the tournament at the World Cup.
"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."