Once the bad boy of English cricket, England cricket hero Ben Stokes was today recognised for a thrilling World Cup victory as he collected an OBE at Buckingham Palace.
Stokes was given the award for his services to cricket in the New Year Honours list after last summer’s triumph.
The cricketer, who career was once mired in controversy, was handed the honour by The Duke of Cambridge in London this afternoon.
It comes after he was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year after a remarkable 12 months in which England beat New Zealand to win the men’s World Cup for the first time.
It is a story of redemption for Stokes, who in 2018 was cleared of affray charges following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September of the previous year.
Stokes was presented with his OBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace today
Ben Stokes poses with his OBE after he was awarded the honour following his sterling performance during last year’s Cricket World Cup triumph
In 2017, Stokes was facing a possible prison sentence and irreparable damage to his career over his role in a late-night brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017 – after which he banned for eight matches.
It was the latest in a long line of controversies that had plagued the talented Stokes’s career, including a ban for a boozy night out, a self-inflicted injury and a bizarre row with Katie Price.
It was not the first time the player had courted controversy.
In December 2011, he was arrested and cautioned for obstructing police during a night out in Cumbria.
In February 2013, he was sent home in disgrace after he and a roommate ignored a curfew to enjoy a boozy night out in Australia.
Teammates nicknamed him ‘The Hurt Locker’ when in March 2014, he missed the World T20 championship after he broke his hand by punching a dressing-room locker in anger.
But after he was cleared of affray, Stokes returned to cricket with gusto and steered England to their first ever World Cup title in a madcap final against New Zealand.
He has enjoyed an incredible year after starring in England’s Cricket World Cup triumph last summer.
In the final against New Zealand, he hit 84 not out – including two sixes in the final over – to tie the game, and then batted in the super over to help England to an unforgettable victory.
It is a story of redemption for Stokes, who in 2018 was cleared of affray charges following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September of the previous year (pictured, receiving his honours today)
Stokes enjoyed an incredible year after starring in England’s Cricket World Cup triumph (he is pictured receiving an OBE at Buckingham Palace today)
England Cricket star Ben Stokes also won the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. He is pictured celebrating winning the third Ashes Test match at Headingley, Leeds last summer
Stokes received the award ahead of Jos Buttler (pictured) who was made an MBE. The pair were presented with their honours by the Duke of Cambridge
How England Cricket star Ben Stokes rose to greatness after years of controversy
2011: Stokes was arrested and cautioned for obstructing police during a night out in Cumbria.
2013: he was sent home in disgrace after he and a roommate ignored a curfew to enjoy a boozy night out in Australia.