If the saying ‘adversity brings out a beast in you’, had a face to it, it would have to be of England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes. It was one hell of a year for the New Zealand-born English all-rounder, where he transcended the limits as to what is possible on a cricket field, not once, but twice!
And, rightly so, for all his contributions in the 12-month period, Benjamin Stokes was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Stokes became the first English cricketer after Andrew Flintoff‘s 2005 Ashes-winning heist after the former spearheaded his side in not only the World Cup-winning heist against New Zealand at Lord’s before helping the three Lions to a dramatic one-wicket win at Headingley.
The English all-rounder finished ahead of six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, who finished as runners-up for the second successive season. The other athletes, who were vying for the coveted honour were Raheem Sterling, the Wales rugby captain Alun Wyn Jones, and the world champion heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
2019 was a year of redemption for Ben Stokes
This is a redemption of sorts for Ben Stokes. The English all-rounder had endured a tumultuous one-and-a-half year leading into 2019 where he was involved in a court case for his involvement in the Bristol brawl back in late 2017, and the all-rounder thanked everyone who supported him during that period.
“Two years ago was a tough time for me in my life. I’ve had so many people help me through that. There’s so many people you feel you have to thank when you’re up here. It’s an individual award, but I play a team sport and one of the great things about that is you get to share special moments with those team-mates, coaches and without that effort, you put in, I wouldn’t be up here receiving this award so thank you so much,” said Stokes was quoted by India.com after receiving the award.
“Two years ago was a tough time for me in my life and I’ve had so many people help me through that. My fantastic manager and friend Neil Fairbrother, you’re more than an agent, you’re an incredible man. I don’t know how you’ve put up with Andrew Flintoff and me, you and [Fairbrother’s wife] Audrey, you’re incredible people,” he added.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Well deserved legend! pic.twitter.com/pQ15zZ8klO
— Joe Root (@root66) December 15, 2019
Congrats @benstokes38 👏🏼 https://t.co/5JMF9IfGJz
— Heather Knight (@Heatherknight55) December 16, 2019
Cricket dominating #SPOTY is a reminder to everyone that it’s the best sport in the world .. #Fact #OnOn
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 16, 2019
BIG Congrats @benstokes38 I’ll tell u a story Sir Gary Sobers said his biggest achievement was beating @MuhammadAli for that @BBCSPOTY in 1966 . #BenStokes
— Tino95 (@tinobest) December 15, 2019
Well done @benstokes38 ! #SPOTY #legend 👏👏🍾🍾 pic.twitter.com/jrz14cwKyH
— Michael Lumb (@Lumby45) December 15, 2019
Yes you beauty @benstokes38. Congrats buddy. #freak
— Samit Patel (@Samitpatel21) December 15, 2019
This guy is incredible! Nothing more than he deserves! Congrats @benstokes38 !#SPOTY 🏆 pic.twitter.com/N3CnswxPdi
— Chris Woakes (@chriswoakes) December 15, 2019
Team Of The Year!!
Couldn’t be prouder of this bunch of lads! It was a honour to be apart of this team! #spoty https://t.co/8diWYry6gK
— Jonny Bairstow (@jbairstow21) December 15, 2019
— Ollie Pope (@OPope32) December 15, 2019
BOOM. What a player, what a bloke! Deserves absolutely everything 👏🏼🙌🏼 https://t.co/KSky9uL8gG
— Sam Billings (@sambillings) December 15, 2019
Massive congratulations @benstokes38 on an amazing achievement that is thoroughly deserved. Also huge congrats to @Harv366 for his amazing role in it all as well. #SPOTY19
— Rikki Clarke (@RikkiClarke81) December 15, 2019
Congratulations @benstokes38 very well deserved mate.
— Tim Bresnan (@timbresnan) December 15, 2019
Awesome to see the @englandcricket boys winning team of the year!! Well deserved!! #SPOTY 🔥
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) December 15, 2019
Absolute no brainer. Vote for @benstokes38! #SPOTY https://t.co/ahDV3ndoBV
— David Willey (@david_willey) December 15, 2019
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