Ben Stokes likely to miss South Africa tour opener to attend Sports Personality of the Year ceremony: Report
England all-rounder Ben Stokes is likely to miss team’s first tour match in South Africa next month in order to attend Sports Personality of the Year award in Aberdeen on December 15. England are scheduled to play a two-day and a three-day tour game before taking on Proteas in a four Test series. The two teams will also lock horns in three ODIs and three T20Is. According to a report published in Daily Mail, Stokes will fly out late and will not be available for the opening match against a South African Invitational XI in Benoni.
The six nominees for the prize are athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton, footballer Raheem Sterling, cricketer Ben Stokes and rugby union’s Alun Wyn Jones. However, Stokes is being touted as heavy favoruite to land the gong following an unbelievable summer with the national team.
Stokes played an intergral part in ICC World Cup 2019 final that helped England win their maiden 50-over crown. Also, Stokes slammed a majestic 135* to help his team snatch victory from jaws of defeat against Australia in second Ashes Test at Headingley.
The report stated that Stokes is set to be crowned Sports Personality of the Year and that is why England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have taken the decision to let him skip a match. Coach Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root have also reportedly endorsed the move.