PCA PRESS RELEASE
England all-rounder caps off outstanding year with coveted individual award.
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The PCA is delighted to learn that one of its members, England and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, has become the first cricketer to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year since Andrew Flintoff in 2005.
Stokes, 28, followed in the ex-PCA President’s footsteps, as well as those of Jim Laker (1956), David Steele (1975) and Sir Ian Botham (1981) in claiming the award as a result of his efforts on the cricket field.
He picked up the trophy at the conclusion of Sunday’s ceremony in Aberdeen ahead of Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton in second and athletics superstar Dina Asher-Smith in third.
“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 teammates, coaches and without that effort you put in, I wouldn’t be up here receiving this award so thank you so much,” Stokes said.
Stokes’ big moment came shortly after the awarding of the Team of the Year prize to England’s victorious ICC Cricket World Cup squad, with Eoin Morgan collecting the award on behalf of the world champions.
“It’s amazing to be part of an evening like this,” said Morgan.
“It’s been a huge year for cricket, but this has been just a short part of what was a four-year journey.”
Jos Buttler’s breaking of the stumps at Lord’s – the final act of that dramatic aternoon in July – was also voted the Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year, as cricket dominated the night’s proceedings.
For Stokes, the main award is the latest in a string of individual accolades, with the all-rounder’s innings at Headingley and Lord’s earlier this summer placing first and second in a September PCA poll of the 50 greatest England innings in the last 50 years which was voted for by the fans themselves.
Having received the supporters’ vote, Stokes would then go on to be recognised by his fellow professionals as they voted him the 2019 NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year at the Association’s 50th annual awards ceremony on Wednesday 2 October.
It’s all combined to make 2019 a watershed year for Stokes, after a summer that began with his memorable flying one-handed catch to dismiss South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo right in front of a disbelieving crowd at England’s World Cup opener at the Kia Oval.
England’s talisman would then go on to play a crucial role in his side’s victorious campaign, stepping up to the plate when his teammates needed it most during the final at Lord’s on 14 July.
Stokes’ 84 not out held England’s chase of 241 together, before he teamed up with Jos Buttler to post 15 in the resultant Super Over – a total that would ultimately prove to be just enough for England to lift the trophy for the very first time.
More glory was to come, however, as Stokes played his second once-in-a-lifetime innings in a single summer against Australia at Headingley in August.
Needing an English record Test chase of 359 to keep the 2019 Ashes alive, Stokes blasted 75 of a 76-run last wicket stand with Jack Leach to cement his place in English cricketing folklore and all but confirm himself as the leading candidate for the 2019 Sports Personality of the Year.
Legendary England batsman and current PCA President Graham Gooch said:
“Great performances have the power to inspire. Ben’s performances at Headingley and Lord’s this summer were nothing short of inspirational.
“It’s fitting that Ben should receive this award at the end of the year in which he has inspired so many cricket fans, young and old, across the UK and beyond.”
Worcestershire batsman and PCA Chairman Daryl Mitchell said:
“On behalf of all current PCA members, I’d like to congratulate Ben on winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year this evening, as well as on his remarkable achievements throughout the course of this calendar year.
“Ben’s exceptional attitude and drive to succeed set the example for all PCA members to follow, and his role model status is reflected in the public’s decision to vote for him to win this award.
“As a sport, we are proud to have our first Sports Personality of the Year winner since 2005, and Ben is certainly worthy of following in Andrew Flintoff’s footsteps.”