Vote Stokes In The Ballot That Really Matters

First let me get this off my chest. If you don’t vote for Ben Stokes in the BBC’s Sports Personality Of The Year ballot tonight then you need to take a long hard look in the mirror. Think of all the unfortunate souls like Dave, the downtrodden county cricket fan we spotlighted last week, that you’ll be letting down.

What’s more, if we examine the candidates one by one, you’ll see that the case for Stokes – who is clearly the ‘change’ candidate considering that a cricketer hasn’t won the SPOTY award since 1805 – is undeniable. He carries the hopes of a whole sport on his shoulders. Just think about the vital exposure and positive PR that a cricketer winning SPOTY would bring to the game. A Stokes victory really could make cricket great again.

Anyway, enough of the rhetoric. Here’s our rundown of the candidates. And it all leads to one unambiguous conclusion …

Dina Asher Smith – From what I can tell, DAS’s main strength seems to be running fast. Big deal. Lots of people can run fast. Have you seen the speed at which Ben Stokes hurries around the boundary to stop 2s turning into 3s? That’s pretty bloody impressive too. What’s more, cricketers also have to perfect sliding stops after sprinting 60m. That’s two skills. DAS simply has to run fast and then stop running. She doesn’t even have to throw her baton back to the wicket-keeper afterwards.

Katarina Johnson Thompson – Although she has to hone her skills in 7 events, which arguably makes her more worthy than Dina Asher Smith, I feel that the irrefutable ‘jack of all trades master of none’ argument completely undermines KJT’s case. There’s simply no place for all-rounders in SPOTY awards – or at least there shouldn’t be – which is precisely why Ben Stokes should win.

Lewis Hamilton – I can’t believe that someone who drives a car has been nominated for this award. I mean come on. All he does is sit down for a couple of hours. I do that in front of the box every night and I don’t see any SPOTY awards heading my way! Even if motor racing was a proper sport (which it isn’t) then surely it should be the motor car (which does all the work) that should be celebrated rather than the driver. After all, who won the Grand National? Tiger Roll. That’s who. The jockey Davy Russell barely got a mention.

Raheem Sterling – Much as I admire Sterling’s stance against racism in football, what has he actually won? Sod all at international level. If he actually wins a World Cup or a European Championship – which I think is pretty doubtful unless Germany decides not to enter – then Sterling might deserve to be part of the SPOTY conversation. Until then his case remains a work in progress. No footballer has ever won a prestigious award like the Ballon d’Or unless they’ve won a World Cup for their country first. Not even Lionel Messi. Fact.

Alun Wyn Jones – Every shortlist seems to have a ‘make up the numbers’ candidate and sadly Alun Wyn is this year’s spare part. World Cups won? Zero. His only achievement in 2019 was a Grand Slam (which everyone’s already forgotten about) in a year in which nobody really cared about the Six Nations anyway. Whilst Alun Wyn is an admirable egg chaser anyone who votes for the Welshman, and helps him poach Ben Stokes’s rightful award, clearly has a scrambled mind. Not that I’d say this to his face.

Ben Stokes – This man straddled the 2019 sporting calendar like a colossus. He was inspirational. He was fearless. And despite his infamous hot head he showed remarkable coolness under pressure. His batting performances throughout the World Cup (not just the final) were legendary. And that innings at Headingley was pound-for-pound the greatest innings in the history of the world’s greatest sport. What more can I say about Ben Stokes? Men want to be him and women want to be with him. He’s a legend. A hero. And a flawless role model (ahem). As Bill Lawry once said “I love ‘im, I wanna buff ‘im, get ‘im up here”.

As you can clearly see, Stokes has by far the greatest claim to the SPOTY throne. So much so, in fact, that even if he loses by a distance we can still reassure ourselves that we won the argument – even after a Lewis Hamilton landslide.

So vote for Stokes. Save cricket. If you don’t it will be sold off to Donald Trump.

James Morgan


  • I will never vote for Ben Stokes, irrelevant of what he did in one test. He is not a nice person at all.
    Lewis Hamilton is probably Britain’s most irritating sports star. A good driver, but boy oh boy, what an annoying pest.
    Katarina Johnston-Thomson – the most annoying name in sport.
    Raheem Sterling – what he is standing up for is commendable, sadly a losing battle (Man City v Man U case in point), but I hope he doesn’t give up the fight. A good player as well.
    Dina Asher Smith – impressive, but not done too much until now. Keep it up and perhaps next year is for her.
    Alun Wyn-Jones – he’s my vote. Talisman, leader, tough and a statesman. He won’t win because he doesn’t have “marketing appeal”, but a worthy winner. Maybe being Welsh might go against him, sadly.

  • I am amazed that Kumar Dharmasena is not up for the award given that he was the primary reason for England defeating NZ.

  • And apart from cricket people … who even remembers the white ball World Cup.. it’s bene and gone and pretty much forgotten.. 2003 RWC and 2005 ashes lived long in ‘normal’ peoples memory.. this hasn’t.

    Plus, the footy World Cup has …well.. most of the world playing.. cricket doesn’t

    • Great cricketer yes, but is Stokes really a good roll model? Lot of unanswered questions in the booze up incident. He’s won it by the way. I feel just a bit uncomfortable about this.

  • Sorry, James.
    I don’t believe a person in a team sport should be a winner.
    Stokes played 2 excellent innings in 6 matches but his contributions when he either threw away his wicket or bowled a lot of tripe should also be considered.
    I also think the title of the award should be taken into consideration; none of the people on the shortlist have much personality although the two females are the most representative of them all. Mind you many of past winners were lacking in that department.
    I think these awards are now irrelevant and the whole thing is just a back-slapping evening for overpaid sportsmen and women.

  • It’s a bit of a lack lustre list. I remember the days of real personalities, like, er, er Nigel Mansell !

  • Although I believe bad boy Ben would be a worthy winner, it’s difficult to see cricket doing the double, as I believe the World Cup win will be enough to secure the cricketers the team trophy, especially as the Rugby team fell at the last hurdle.
    Ben has yet to become a legend, but like it or not Lewis now is. AJ may also be above him now.
    If Ben was a footballer his exploits would be a guaranteed win.

  • Whatever you’ve done to the website is killing its performance. It’s laggy and horrible to use.

    • I’ve been having some technical problems with my host and WordPress theme. I’ve been trying to fix the problems for a while now but everyone is blaming everyone else. It’s an impossible situation for me because I’m not a techy and I’m 100% reliant on other people. Sorry for the inconvenience.

      • My experience with ‘techies’ is that they are often self taught and think because they can do a bit of hacking, web design and mess with hard drives that makes them an expert. It is a largely unregulated field populated by geeks.
        I remember an incident about 20 years ago now, when the red braces brigade were in charge and sub contracted their ‘expertise’ out. We had loads of them in to try and solve a problem with our new server, which kept crashing. After forking out thousands for numerous abortive attempts to find a technical solution it turned out the thermostat on the server room air conditioning was faulty. This was a five minute job to repair and cost a few quid to a local sparky. None of the geeks had thought to check this as it was not in their field of expertise, which typifies the problem dealing with specialists.

  • So I guess Stokes won the Sports Personality of the Year for several umpiring howlers (which, if the umpiring was competent would probably have resulted in two England losses rather than 2 England victories), some good batting, and being cleared after being overcharged in court (the lesser charge would have been easier to prove).

    Can’t say I am too thrilled but since no one else did anything of note, he must have been a shoe-in. Then again, you elected another set of lucky thugs earlier in the week, so I am guessing this is about par for the UK these days.

    • One thing you have to remember about umpiring now compared to pre tech days not so long ago is that decisions were not debated as much, as there was little more than opinion to go on. Now every decision they make is replayed in slow motion innumerable times from numerous camera angles, many of which the umpire has no access to, detecting the slightest judgmental flaw. How many of cricket’s past achievements if subjected to today’s scrutiny would stand as legitimate. How many great innings would have been cut short with a feathered catch behind, undetectable to the human ear, but picked up as a spike on snicko.
      We see the confused spectacle of VAR killing footie as whatever the techies decide is often still a matter of opinion with many decisions still as controversial as before. Now in cricket we have the ludicrous notion of allowing a limited number of appeals against the officials. The whole business of their authority and purpose is called into question if you merely use them selectively. Much of the passion for spectators in sport is based on the moment and technology is killing this with its endless and often debatable interference in the persuit of ‘fair play’.

  • Nice one the British public. Cricket is the winner, red and white ball together.
    Wonder if messers Graves and Harrison will take note.

  • Clean sweep for cricket. Team of the year (the ODI team) moment of the year and SPOTY. I think the test team also won Batting Collapse of the Year though there were other strong contenders. Next year we even get cricket (of a sort) back on terrestrial TV. Really good news.

  • I’m not a huge Stokes fan but I’m not a fan of SPOTY either. I’m was appalled by his thuggery but he has demonstrated contrition.
    When I was at school we had football one term, rugby the next and then cricket. Sadly athletics intruded on the cricket which is why I would never vote for an athlete. What did the footballer do and what would Hamilton be like on the M25 unsupported by a team who could change his tyres in nano-seconds?
    On balance I’m happy with Stokes.

  • Cricket about to be back on the state broadcaster for the first time in two decades and a cricketer wins SPOTY just beforehand. What a fortunate coincidence!

    Facepuncher OBE, SPOTY… and soon to be captain if SA don’t perform their designated role of sacrificial lambs.


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