Stokes favourite for Sports Personality of the Year after Headingley heroics

Ben Stokes is the odds-on favourite to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year prize after his Headingley heroics on Sunday.

The England all-rounder struck an unbeaten 135 as his team secured an unlikely victory to level the Ashes series at 1-1 with two matches to play, an innings regarded as one of the greatest of all time.

Here the PA news agency looks at the contenders for the BBC’s annual award.

Ben Stokes

Stokes celebrates hitting the winning runs to level the Ashes series at 1-1
Stokes celebrates hitting the winning runs to level the Ashes series at 1-1 (Mike Egerton/PA)

After striking an unbeaten 84 to force a super over and set up England’s dramatic World Cup final victory against New Zealand, Stokes was firmly in the running for the coveted trophy. Stokes then managed to eclipse his match-winning World Cup efforts, after England were bowled out for 67 in the first innings to lead the side to their record chase of 359, sharing an unbroken stand of 76 for the final wicket with Jack Leach.

Jofra Archer

The Barbados-born fast bowler was brought into the England side for the World Cup, finishing the tournament as England’s leading wicket-taker and he bowled the super over in the final at the helm of his side’s victory. More than just a white-ball player, Archer regularly exceeded 90mph on his Test debut, peaking at 96.1 mph, and took six for 45 at Headingley during England’s incredible comeback win.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton celebrates after a victorious 2019 British Grand Prix
Hamilton celebrates after a victorious 2019 British Grand Prix (David Davies/PA)

The five-time World Champion has looked on course for a sixth title, to put him second, behind only Michael Schumacher in the number of career world championship titles after his 2019 season. Hamilton amassed a monumental 62-point lead in the championship after his drive to victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 4.

Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori rides Enable to win The Darley Yorkshire Stakes
Frankie Dettori rides Enable to win The Darley Yorkshire Stakes (Nigel French/PA)

Dettori has 12 Group One victories this year and throughout his career, which began in 1988, he has never had a better rides-to-wins ratio which currently sits at 26 per cent. The 48-year-old has been Champion Jockey three times and ridden over 3,000 winners, over 750 more than the next jockey currently riding.

Raheem Sterling

Hat-trick for Raheem Sterling!

An ice cold finish from a man who has started the new season in red hot form!

🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/IiGOejWG8M

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 10, 2019

The England forward recorded 17 goals and 10 assists in Manchester City’s title-winning campaign during the 2018-19 season and started this season with a hat-trick against West Ham. Sterling has also emerged as a prominent figure after he took a stand against racism after being allegedly subjected to abuse during his side’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in December 2018.

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