England all-rounder Ben Stokes was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for his stellar performance at the World Cup and Ashes during the summer, finishing ahead of six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.
Stokes won the prestigious award – voted by the British public – for his achievements that also helped England land the Team of the Year award.
“Two years ago was a tough time for me in my life. I’ve had so many people help me through that,” Stokes, 28, said after accepting the award. The all-rounder was forced to spend time away from cricket for his involvement in a brawl in Bristol in 2017 but was later found not guilty of affray.
Stokes was named man of the match for his brilliant innings of 84 not out in the run chase against New Zealand and the subsequent super over which helped hosts England's win the World Cup for the first time at Lord's.
He then managed to top that effort by playing one of the all-time great Test innings against Australia, hitting 135 not out that sealed a nail-biting one-wicket win at Headingley.
Stokes' brilliance meant multiple world champion Hamilton finished runner-up in the voting while 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith came in third.
Cricket's recognition has come at a crucial moment in the country. Stokes was the first cricketer to earn the award since Andrew Flintoff following the memorable 2005 Ashes. With cricket returning to terrestrial television in the UK, Stokes's win is being seen as another boost for the game that is trying to reach a new generation of fans.