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.
2014: Teammates nicknamed him ‘The Hurt Locker’ when he missed the World T20 championship after he broke his hand by punching a dressing-room locker in anger.
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.
It was the latest in a long line of controversies that had plagued the talented Stokes’s career.
2017: Also that year Katie Price slammed the scandal-hit cricket star after a shocking new video emerged of the sportsman appearing to mock her disabled son.
2018: The cricketer – whose co-defendant Ryan Ali was also acquitted – was cleared by a jury at Bristol Crown Court following a street brawl outside a club in the city on September 25, 2017.
2019: Stokes returned to cricket with gusto and in the summer of 2019 steered England to their first ever World Cup title in a madcap final against.
2020: England cricket heroes Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are recognised for their thrilling World Cup victory when they collect honours at a Buckingham Palace ceremony.
Stokes was equally heroic in the Ashes, in which he hit an unbeaten 135 to help England win the third Test at Headingley, giving them the opportunity to draw the series.
Stokes received the award ahead of Jos Buttler who was made an MBE. The pair were presented with their honours by the Duke of Cambridge.
Buttler becomes an MBE, having been the man to guarantee England would lift the trophy for the first time when he gathered Jason Roy’s throw and completed the match-winning run-out under extreme pressure in the World Cup final, while Joe Root gets the same accolade.
Also set to receive honours are teammates Eoin Morgan (CBE), Joe Root (MBE).
Root, who described the honour as ‘extremely humbling’, was England’s top run-scorer at the World Cup but has also been one of the sport’s most prominent ambassadors in his role at Test skipper.
Paying tribute to his team-mates, Root added: ‘They are fantastic ambassadors – they have done some extremely special things for English cricket and I am very honoured to have played alongside them.
‘I am proud and privileged and it’s an honour to play cricket for England.’
Colin Graves, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, was also recognised, collecting a CBE for services to the sport.
Meanwhile, an Afghanistan war veteran will collect an MBE for services to horse racing.
Captain Guy Disney made history at Sandown in 2015 when he became the first jockey in Britain to race over fences with a prosthetic limb, before claiming a victory at the same course two years later.
He will also be recognised for services to polar expeditions and veterans’ charities, having joined the Duke of Sussex on a trek to the North Pole in aid of the Walking With The Wounded charity.
Away from the world of sport, Sir David Bintley will collect a knighthood for services to dance.
The former ballet dancer stepped down as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet last year after 24 years in the role.
Children’s TV star and Coronation Street actor Derek Griffiths will be presented with an MBE for services to drama and diversity.