LONDON: Ben Stokes believes Kane Williamson should be chosen as New Zealander of the Year despite being nominated for the award himself.
England all-rounder Stokes was born in New Zealand and has Maori heritage but moved to England when he was 12-years-old after his father, Ged, got a job coaching north-west rugby league side Workington Town.
The 28-year-old Ben was one of England’s stars as they beat New Zealand in a World Cup final that went all the way to the Super Over and now he wants Blackcaps skipper Williamson to win the award.
“I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year,” said Stokes in a 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.
“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 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.”