Ben Stokes has been named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, after a remarkable 12 months that saw the international cricketer take home the Cricket World Cup with England, and complete a sensational Ashes innings that entered him into the history books.
Accepting his award, Stokes said: “Obviously it’s an individual award but I play a team sport, and the best thing about that is you get to share special moments with teammates, backroom staff, management who make days like we had in the summer possible.”
Stokes is the first cricketer to receive the award since Andrew Flintoff in 2005. To claim the title, he recieved more votes than all five other contenders, who were: athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling, and Rugby Union player Alun Wyn Jones.
The ceremony was televised live on BBC One, and was hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan. Lineker was at the centre of a blunder early in the proceedings when he addressed Stokes as the “main award winner”, long before voting was closed. Stokes was the bookmakers’ clear favourite to take home the title.
Fans and sports professionals alike took to social media to post their fulsome praise for Stokes…
#SPOTY was what I thought the top 3 should be.
Hamilton a special talent, but will do what he did this year, next year, as he did last year… Dina was SENSATIONAL, but Stokes… his year won’t be repeated for a long, LONG time!
British Public spot on for me (this time ????) ????????
— Samantha Quek (@SamanthaQuek) December 16, 2019
— Damon Hill (@HillF1) December 15, 2019
— Chris Woakes (@chriswoakes) December 15, 2019
— Stuart Meaker (@SMeaker18) December 16, 2019
The highlight of Stokes’ year was undoubtedly his stunning innings in the third 2019 Ashes test, where he racked up an incredible scoring of 135 not out – one of the best individual innings of all time by an English batsman.
The 28-year-old’s efforts weren’t enough to help England reclaim the Ashes, but Stokes’ heroics will live long in the memory for anyone lucky enough to have been watching.
He was also a key part of the England team that won the World Cup, which was hosted this year by England and Wales.
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony can be watched on BBC iPlayer