Ben Stokes has become the heavy odds-on favourite to win this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Award. His extraordinary unbeaten 135 won the Headingley Test against Australia yesterday, and kept England in the Ashes.
The all-rounder had been 6/4 to win the competition going into the match, but at some bookies is now as short as 1/6.
The innings, referred to by Alastair Cook as the ‘greatest by an Englishman’, came just six weeks after his performance with bat and ball won England their first World Cup.
Stokes is seen as having genuinely rehabilitated himself since the infamous nightclub incident that saw him banned from the tour to Australia last winter, and was rewarded with the vice-captaincy for the current series.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 25, 2019
Only four cricketers have won the competition since its inception in 1954: Jim Laker in 1956; David Steele in 1975; Ian Botham in 1981; and Andrew Flintoff in 2005. Each of these came off the back of Ashes series.
Other contenders for the title are jockey Frankie Dettori, footballer Raheem Sterling, and car driver Lewis Hamilton. Jofra Archer and Jack Leach are priced at 20/1 and 50/1 respectively.