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Ben Stokes said his cricket heroics in 2019 moved his life forward after a troubled previous year.
The 28-year-old, who helped England win the Cricket World Cup and starred in the Ashes, was voted Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, 16 months after being found not guilty of affray following a street brawl near a Bristol nightclub.
“2019 will be very hard to top and wipes away anything that happened the year before that,” said Stokes. “It is a shame 2020 has to start.”
Stokes helped his side to their first 50-over World Cup triumph and then made a remarkable unbeaten 135 in an extraordinary third Ashes Test win against Australia.
“Me and many other people around England will always be able to look back on this year with amazing memories,” he told BBC Sport.
“I think we managed to inspire the next generation this year, which is an amazing thing to look back on.”
Stokes won the BBC public vote with F1 champion Lewis Hamilton second and athlete Dina Asher-Smith in third place.
Asked to sum up his year in three words, the Durham all-rounder said: “Excitement. Tears. Joy.”
England also won the Team of the Year prize, while Jos Buttler breaking the stum
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