'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 are clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him.'
England's all-rounder Ben Stokes was on Friday nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award.
Stokes, born in New Zealand, played a crucial role in England's World Cup victory and he starred for the hosts in the final match against New Zealand. The left-hander, who played a vital knock of 84 runs in the title clash, went on to amass 465 runs in the World Cup.
"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 are clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him," stuff.co.nz quoted Cameron Bennett, the New Zealander of the Year Awards Chief Judge as saying.
Stokes is also likely to receive knighthood after showcasing a match-winning performance in the final as both candidates for next UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt expressed their desire to give the player knighthood.
New Zealand cricket captain Kane Williamson has also been nominated for the award.
Williamson's composure after the World Cup loss was lauded by many people within the sporting fraternity.
"The way Williamson conducted himself, not only in the face of such devasting disappointment at Lord's but throughout the tournament, resonated powerfully with Kiwis from all walks of life. He's been the embodiment of the qualities we cherish as New Zealanders - courage, fairness, humility," Bennett said.
All New Zealand citizens who are older than 15 years are eligible to be nominated.
The shortlist of 10 candidates to be considered for the award will be announced in December, and the 2020 winner will be revealed at the New Zealander of the Year Gala Awards in February.
England scripted history on July 14 by claiming their first-ever World Cup title. The finals will be remembered for ages as it did not have a winner after the 50-over and super over action as both ended in a tie.
In the end, England were announced as the winner as they had hit more boundaries -- 26 -- as compared to New Zealand's 17 boundaries in the match.