England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Tuesday praised New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, saying he “shows humility and empathy to every situation” and deserves to win the ‘New Zealander of the Year’ award.
In a statement, Stokes also said that Williamson “typifies what it is to be a New Zealander”.
Stokes has himself been nominated for the ‘New Zealander of the Year’ award for his Kiwi roots, alongside Kane Williamson.
“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,” he said.
New Zealander of the Year award’s chief judge Cameron Bennett was quoted as saying by PTI that some people were still trying to claim Stokes as one of New Zealand’s own, given that he was born in Christchurch.
“He might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch, where his parents now live, and with Maori ancestry, there’s clearly a few Kiwis who think we can still claim him,” Bennett was quoted as saying in stuff.co.nz.
(With PTI inputs)