Cricket

Cricket fans concerned by Joe Root's SPOTY omission

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England batsman Joe Root's exclusion from the list of contenders for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award is a "bit concerning" for cricket, according to supporter's group the Barmy Army.

Root - the number one Test batsman in the world - was named man of the series after scoring 460 runs as England regained the Ashes with a 3-2 victory over Australia during the summer.

But while a similar achievement was enough for Andrew Flintoff to win the award in 2005, Root was not selected on the final shortlist by a 12-strong expert panel.

Matt Nichols, a spokesperson for the Barmy Army, told Press Association Sport: " Joe Root had such a good year, being named man of the series in an Ashes victory and breaking the calendar-year record for most runs scored for England. It is a bit concerning, especially in an Ashes year, for him not to be up there.

"It's difficult to say why he was left out, and also Stuart Broad, who produced one of the best pieces of bowling at Trent Bridge when Australia were bowled out for 60.

"But looking at the contenders it was such a strong field. It's been an amazing year for British sport.

"It's a bit disappointing (Root) didn't get recognition but he's a once-in-a-generation player and he will be up there eventually."

Since Flintoff won the award 10 years ago, an England cricketer has been included on the shortlist following each of the four Ashes successes since - captain Andrew Strauss in 2009, Strauss and Alastair Cook in 2011 and Ian Bell in 2013 - while Graeme Swann made the list in 2010 when England won the ICC World Twenty20.

The nominees for this year's award were decided by three members from BBC Sport, TV pundit Jermaine Jenas, broadcaster Hazel Irvine, former award nominees Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Maggie Alphonsi and Dame Mary Peters, the chair of the youth sport trust Baroness Sue Campbell and a representative from national newspapers the Guardian, the Sun and the Times.

Paralympic, World and European champion Hannah Cockroft also questioned the lack of nominees from disability sports.

Pushing the case of wheelchair tennis player Jordanne Whiley and sprinter Richard Whithead, she said on Twitter: "12 nominees & not one of them in disability sport? Didnt expected my name on #SPOTY shortlist this year but others have been overlooked.

".@jordannejoyce92 won more titles as most successful British tennis player EVER, @Marathonchamp destroyed his own WR, not to mention others!

"This isn't about equality, its about recognising achievement and not seeing the same names on @BBCSPOTY shortlist every year!"

The BBC was asked to respond to the questions by Press Association Sport.

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