Following his inspirational performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand, the odds for Ben Stokes to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2019 have been slashed.
The all-rounder put in a stunning display at Lord's, dragging England back from the brink with a brilliant innings to help them secure the title. As a result of his superb performance, his odds to win SPOTY were cut from 28/1 before the start of the match to 7/4 by Sky Bet, which means he is now the favourite ahead of Lewis Hamilton (13/2) and Raheem Sterling (7/1).
When Stokes stepped on to the field his country had slipped to 86-4 when chasing down 241, with the World Cup looking likely to go to New Zealand. But the 28-year-old put together a 110-run partnership with Jos Buttler to get them back into contention.
He then began firing boundaries after Buttler was dismissed, but the odds were still against him as he needed 15 from the last over. Somehow managed to tie the score at 241 runs each with the help of a couple of sixes, including one by virtue of a huge stroke of luck when a fielders throw hit his bat and ran away for four as he dived for the crease.
That meant that the match went into a super over, with both teams facing six more balls each. Despite being visibly shattered, Stokes once again came into bat alongside Buttler and together they managed to score 15 runs.
It was a good score, and although New Zealand themselves also managed to hit 15 it was a winning score due to England having hit more boundaries throughout that match. Stokes was named player of the match and his performance will go down in British sporting folklore.
Other England cricket stars also see their SPOTY odds drop
Of course it was not just Stokes who was responsible for England winning the Cricket World Cup, with almost every player in the squad playing a key role at some point throughout the tournament.
Eoin Morgan captained the side and had some memorable moments himself, including breaking the record for most sixes in an ODI against Afghanistan (17). His leadership was vital and like Stokes, his odds to win the Sports Personality of the Year award have also been cut on the back of the World Cup triumph, going from 33/1 mid-way through June to 16/1 now.
Test captain Joe Root also shone and finished it as England's leading run scorer, racking up 556 overall which also made him the tournament's fifth highest scoring batsman. The Sheffield-born star also hit the first century of the competition and his odds to win SPOTY have dropped from 20/1 pre-tournament to 9/1. They could shorten further too, should Root guide England to victory in the Ashes against Australia later in the summer.
Jason Roy also stood out, and his importance to the side was highlighted when he missed games against Sri Lanka and Australia in which England struggled and were beaten. Despite missing matches he still managed 443 runs which placed him in the top 10 highest scoring batsmen, and his odds to win Sports Personality of the Year are 25/1.
Other players who's odds have been shortened include Jonny Bairstow, who managed 532 runs throughout the tournament, and Jofra Archer who finished as England's leading wicket taker with 20. Both players are now 33/1 to win SPOTY 2019.
Full Sports Personality of the Year 2019 odds:
(All odds taken from Sky Bet)
- Ben Stokes - 7/4
- Lewis Hamilton - 13/2
- Raheem Sterling - 7/1
- Dina Asher-Smith - 8/1
- Joe Root - 9/1
- Geraint Thomas - 14/1
- Eoin Morgan - 16/1
- Alun Wyn Jones - 25/1
- Andy Murray - 25/1
- Jason Roy - 25/1
- Laura Muir - 25/1
- Owen Farrell - 25/1
- Johanna Konta - 33/1
- Jofra Archer - 33/1
- Jonny Bairstow - 33/1
- Katrina Johnson-Thompson - 33/1
- Rory McIlroy - 33/1
- Tyson Fury - 33/1
- Jos Buttler - 40/1