Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Stoked: Cumbrian cricket legend to be made Freeman of his home Borough

Credit: ITV Border

Cumbrian cricket legend Ben Stokes will be made a Freeman of his home Borough of Allerdale, councillors decided in a meeting on Wednesday evening.

The decision comes following his pivotal role in the Cricket World Cup and The Ashes Series this summer.

View this post on Instagram

Summer 2k19 with the lads 🏏

A post shared by Ben Stokes (@stokesy) on

The term "freeman" dates back to the medieval ages. Freemen were given special privileges, such as the right to own land, earn money, vote in elections and drive their sheep through the streets.

But what does it mean today?

The Honorary Freedom of Boroughs Act 1885 is an Act of UK Parliament that allows councils in England and Wales to appoint "persons of distinction and any persons who have rendered eminent services to the borough" as 'honorary freemen'.

The ancient privileges associated with the honour are now purely symbolic, demonstrating an appreciation for the individual.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

So as a modern freeman, Ben Stokes is unlikely to be caught driving his sheep through the boroughs' streets- But he can certainly say his talent has been recognised.

I firmly believe this year belongs to Ben Stokes and his performances will no doubt have inspired a new generation of sporting stars from west Cumbria and beyond.

– Councilor Paul Scott

Stokes' freeman status comes at the same time as he has been shortlisted for the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) players' player of the year award.

Stokes has been nominated alongside Ryan Higgins, Simon Harmer and Dominic Sibley. The PCA awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 2.