Beth Mead was the 2022 winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year thanks to her heroics for England last summer in helping the Lionesses win the European Championship, although it’s far from certain as to who will land the 2023 award. The odds with most betting sites are such that it could truly be anyone who has a big summer or autumn in their respective sports.
With just the Women’s World Cup to compete with this summer, we could potentially be looking at an England cricket player who performs well during the Ashes.
Captain Ben Stokes is trading as favourite to win this award for a second time with betting apps, having triumphed in 2019, while 2014 and 2020 winner Lewis Hamilton might yet land another Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship and is also among the favourites, although we are yet to see any British sportsperson really stand out in their field.
Harry Brook is someone who could announce himself on a global stage during the summer’s Ashes series, with Joe Root and James Anderson other notable operators for England, while boxer Tyson Fury has previously appeared on the shortlist to win this accolade.
Ben Stokes will lead England into battle against Australia this summer as the two cricket rivals battle it out for the miniature urn. With England boasting home advantage, there’s a confidence that they can succeed over five Test matches, with odds at cricket betting sites having England as slight favourites. Any triumph is going to be down to key players performing, such as their skipper.
At the time of writing, Stokes has made 91 Test match appearances for England, and his numbers stack up pretty well. This popular sporting figure is getting close to 6,000 runs for his country in this format at an average above 35. The Durham all-rounder is also on 194 wickets so will hope to break through to 200 Test wickets during the Ashes. Having won the World Cup for England in 2019, perhaps this is Stokes’ latest act of cricketing heroism.
Tyson Fury is the current WBC heavyweight champion after defeating Deontay Wilder in 2020, and he is always favourite to win his bouts with boxing betting sites thanks to his unbeaten record.
A proposed unification fight with Oleksandr Usyk fell through recently, suggesting that a bout isn’t likely to happen in the near future. However, perhaps things can be sorted during this calendar year. If not, Fury will face someone else with his belt on the line.
Should Fury defeat Usyk, then it would be easy to see a swell of votes coming for a fighter who has previously shown disinterest in the BBC award, although perhaps he will come round to accepting it and some bookmakers have him among the favourites to win the 2023 heat.
Lewis Hamilton was proving to be the perennial bridesmaid when it came to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, with the Formula 1 racing driver having finished runner-up to Joe Calzaghe in 2007 before the same thing happened a year later when cyclist Chris Hoy pipped him to the post.
However, Hamilton was able to beat Rory McIlroy into second place in 2014 and finished runner-up to Geraint Thomas in 2018 and Ben Stokes in 2019 before winning for a second time in 2020. It’s clear that he has an army of fans, and this previous strong track record suggests that he could be on the shortlist.
Hamilton is a seven-time world champion in F1 and the latest of these successes came in 2020. He then had an agonisingly close near-miss when losing to Max Verstappen in 2021 before finishing much further down the pecking order in 2022. However, the Brits love a comeback tale and an eighth world success could see him close to winning this award, even if odds on him claiming another world title this season seem slim on Formula 1 betting sites.
Rory McIlroy’s major drought continues, and it’s getting close to 10 years since the Northern Irishman was last able to secure one of these titles. He’s still among the best golfers in the world, with the 33-year-old having won two PGA Championships, one US Open and one Open Championship in his career, and he remains a favourite for every major with golf betting sites leading into the tournaments.
We are in a Ryder Cup year, and it wouldn’t be the first time that McIlroy plays a starring role in this competition, with Europe desperate to regain the trophy in.
However, it might be that he needs to win one of the three remaining major tournaments in 2023 to be regarded as a candidate for BBC SPOTY, with McIlroy finishing runner-up in 2014 after his previous purple patch.
We are virtually certain to see cricket players featuring in the BBC SPOTY shortlist come December given it is an Ashes year without a major men’s football tournament to compete with. While Ben Stokes is the most likely candidate, there’s also a case for Joe Root, Harry Brook or James Anderson to be knocking on the door, and much depends on which one produces heroics with bat or ball.
Root is a former England captain now free of the shackles of leading the team out, and perhaps he can be the main run scorer over the series, while Brook is a huge talent without proven experience of an Ashes series.
That accusation can’t be levelled at Anderson, who will continue to lead the bowling attack at the ripe old age of 40, and perhaps he’s capable of getting enough votes to achieve a victory in this field.