Wellington: England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who broke millions of Kiwi hearts in the recently concluded World Cup, has been nominated for the 'New Zealander of the Year' award.
Stokes played a crucial unbeaten 84 in the final at Lord's which allowed England to tie New Zealand's total of 241/8 and he then helped the home team prevail after a tie-breaking Super Over in which both teams scored 15 runs. England won the match on count of superior boundary count.
New Zealand-born Stokes has been nominated along with Black Caps captain Kane Williamson, Newstalk ZB host Simon Barnett, former rugby league star Manu Vatuvei, and one of the heroes of the Christchurch mosque attacks, Abdul Aziz, reports New Zealand Herald.
New Zealander of the Year Awards chief judge Cameron Bennett said both Stokes and Williamson had received several nominations after the dramatic World Cup final.
"He 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 who think we can still claim him," Bennett said of Stokes.
England Prime Ministerial candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have already hinted that the all-rounder could be awarded a knighthood following his stupendous performance in England's maiden men's World Cup triumph.
The nominations for the award will close on September 15. A shortlist of 10 will be announced in December, with the winner to be confirmed next February.