Matt’s Monologue: How did Root miss out?

I always enjoy The Sport’s Personality of the Year show on the BBC. It gives you a chance to look back on the last twelve months and reflect on the country’s sporting achievements and some hopefully mighty fine memories.

The shortly was announced earlier this week, and it often gives a flavour of just how strong a year it has been for British sport.

On some occasions, it is jammed full of household names, making the vote particularly tough. In others, some relative unknowns can make it on after hitting the heights in so called “smaller” disciplines.

Traditionally, it is extremely strong in an Olympic year, and often so in a winning Ashes one too.

So I was somewhat surprised when the shortlist for the 2015 prize was unveiled, and there was one startling omission.

It has been a somewhat under the radar year for English cricket. They started in disappointing fashion at the 50 over world cup, and they did not exactly excel in the West Indies last spring either, but gradually things got better.

Alastair Cook’s men won the Ashes, for starters, a series they were not expected to do too well in, and a team captained by Eoin Morgan have won two limited overs series in Pakistan.

The name that sticks out, the man who has had a better year than any of his fellow Englishman ever is Joe Root.

He is currently ranked as the world’s number one test batsmen, something that is quite an achievement in itself.

But on top of that, and being a major player for his country, he has also scored more runs in this calendar year than any England batsmen has ever done before.

Andrew Flintoff and Ian Botham are just a couple of players who have won the award in victorious Ashes years. Root did that, and more.

So why has he been overlooked?

I can certainly understand most of the names on the list.

Andy Murray has had a stand out year in tennis, helping his country win the Davis Cup as well as finishing the year in his highest ever ranking, whilst Lewis Hamilton has landed a second successive F1 world title.

Jessica Ennis achieved glory on a global level too, only a year after giving birth, whilst Tyson Fury has become the heavyweight champion of the world.

Elsewhere, Chris Froome of course won the Tour de France, and at a canter, for the second time, and Mo Farah, amazingly, retained the world 5,000m and 10,000m titles in Beijing.

So there are standout sports stars on that list. It really has been an exceptional year for the country (of course, our rugby union and football stars aside). Only a handful of the great achievements of those up for the gong are mentioned above.

But surely, somewhere, there was room for Joe Root on that list – because, for me, he would even come close to winning it.

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