English all-rounder Ben Stokes was nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award last week after he led England to their first-ever World Cup win on July 14.
Stokes was born in New Zealand, but came to England at the age of 12 and has since been in the country.
Reacting to his nomination, Stokes acknowledged that he is proud of his heritage, but said that there are people more deserving of this recognition than him.
In his statement, Stokes said, “ 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.”
“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.”
The English cricketer added that his vote for the award would go to New Zealand cricket team’s captain, Kane Williamson.
“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.”