Cricketer Ben Stokes Named 2019 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year
Stokes enjoyed a fantastic 2019 that saw him act as the catalyst for England's dramatic victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup and mount an incredible final innings stand to win a series-levelling Ashes test against Australia.
The 28-year-old cricketer was the odds-on favourite with the bookies ahead of the 65th staging of the BBC's event at the P&J Live arena, and he won a comfortably larger share of the vote than Katrina Johnson-Thompson, Alun Wyn Jones, Lewis Hamilton, Dina Asher-Smith, and Raheem Sterling to take home the famous camera-shaped trophy.
Stokes is the fifth cricketer to pick up the award, following in the footsteps of Jim Laker, David Steele, Ian Botham, and - 14 years ago - Andrew Flintoff.
This win will be all the sweeter as it comes just a year or so after the Durham all-rounder was cleared of affray following an incident outside a nightclub in Bristol.
As comeback stories go, Stokes' one is compelling.
This year, Stokes dragged cricket back into its rightful place in the national conversation in a way that few could have hoped at the beginning.
Taking to the field in the World Cup Final with his team reduced to a precarious 71-3, Stokes left the field some hours later as the man of the match, holding onto the trophy, following the most remarkable of matches.
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He scored 84 not out, and navigated his way through the super over to get his team over the line by the finest of margins.
Then, when faced with a formidable touring Australian team several weeks later in The Ashes, Stokes made his mark on the third test at Headingley with - unquestionably - one of the greatest innings of all time.
After his England team had been bowled out for just 67 in the first innings, Stokes managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, hitting 11 fours and eight sixes in a remarkable 135 not out.
Even though England could only eventually manage to draw the series 2 - 2, which meant that the Aussies retained the urn, Stokes wrote his name indelibly into Ashes history with a truly remarkable knock.
There was more joy in Scotland for Stokes and his team, too.
The England Cricket team also picked up the Team of the Year award, and their Cricket World Cup win was voted as the Moment of the Year.
For his crucial role in both of those triumphs, it's tough to argue that anyone was more emblematic for their team - and their sport - in the past year, than Ben Stokes.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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