Mead is the heavy favorite to win the award after finishing top scorer and player of the tournament during the Women’s European Championship this summer, leading England to a historic first major success at Wembley.
Meanwhile, Wightman produced the run of a lifetime to claim a stunning gold at the World Championships in Athletics in Oregon, besting Norwegian superstar and Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen in a race called by father Geoff in stadium commentary.
O’Sullivan’s nomination looks like a reward for his longevity after another excellent year in which he won the world billiards title for the seventh time, equaling Stephen Hendry’s modern-era record.
Stokes, who was named SPOTY in 2019, has led the transformation of the England men’s Test team since taking over from Joe Root as captain ahead of the English summer, winning nine of ten Tests and just this morning ending an unprecedented series of 3-0 whitewash over Pakistan. In Australia last month, Stokes also led England to T20 World Cup glory with an unbeaten half-century in the final against Pakistan.
Muirhead finally ended her long wait to top an Olympic podium, skipping Team GB to women’s curling gold at her fourth Games in Beijing.
Gadirova, the youngest of the nominees at 18, won three medals at the World Championships in Liverpool, including gold on the floor and bronze in the individual all-around final, Great Britain’s first medal in the event. .