Ben Stokes Named Sports Personality of the Year Favourite

Martin Green

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 4:55 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2019 4:55 PM UTC

England has a new national sporting hero...
<div><p>Ben Stokes has been installed as the 2.75 (7/4) favourite with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="William Hill">William Hill</a> to be named Sports Personality of the Year after his World Cup final heroics. The all-rounder entered the fray when his team were in grave danger of slumping to a humiliating defeat in a match they were expected to dominate. Yet Stokes displayed phenomenal levels of composure, grit and determination to repel a ferocious New Zealand attack and drag his team back into the contest.</p><p>He formed a devastating partnership with Jos Buttler and then kept his cool as several teammates were removed at Lord’s on Sunday. In the end he finished with an unbeaten 84 off 98 balls and he delivered a spine-tingling final over to rescue the unlikeliest of draws for his team. The match went into a super over and Stokes was again called upon to lead his team to victory. He hit a brilliant boundary during the super over as England ultimately edged the closest, most dramatic and craziest World Cup final ever witnessed.</p><h2>Arise, Sir Ben?</h2><p>A couple of years ago, Ben Stokes was considered a villain after being axed from England’s Ashes tour for his part in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub. Yet he has since been cleared of affray, and it turned out he was protecting a pair of revellers from homophobic abuse. Now his redemption is well and truly complete. Both Conservative leadership candidates, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, said they would knight him, and he is now the favourite to be named Sports Personality of the Year.</p><p>Stokes enjoyed a brilliant World Cup. He was the only player to emerge with any credit from defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia in the group stage, frequently excelling while his teammates faltered, and he was superb in the must-win match against India. He battled immense fatigue in the final and still managed to overwhelm a fired-up New Zealand side almost single-handedly.</p><p>While his legendary stand was dazzling the nation, compatriot Lewis Hamilton was busy winning a record-breaking sixth British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He is all but certain to win another F1 Drivers’ Championship this season, and he is the 7/1 second favourite in this market. He is certainly a cleaner cut personality than Stokes, but right now it is hard to see him toppling England’s heroic all-rounder. Two men could fight their way into contention: Geraint Thomas is the clear favourite to win a second consecutive Tour de France, while Stokes’ teammate Joe Root could lead England to Ashes glory. But right now 2.75 seems like an attractive set of odds on Stokes.</p></div>
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