Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has swept the CSA awards with as many as six trophies that include Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year, ODI Cricketer of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year, Fans’ Player of the Year and Delivery of the Year. AB de Villiers, who retired from international cricket recently, was named the T20 International Cricketer of the Year.
For women’s cricket, Dane van Niekerk was named the Cricketer of the Year, Laura Wolvaardt was the Players’ Player of the Year and the ODI Cricketer of the Year, and Chloe Tryon was the T20 Cricketer of the Year.
The winners were announced at a function in Sandton on Saturday evening. Currently ranked No. 1 in the ICC’s Test rankings for bowlers, Rabada had dominated the awards night in 2016 too, when he became the first player to win six awards. He finished the second-highest wicket-taker in 2017 with 57 scalps, behind Nathan Lyon’s 63, but with a better average of 20.28 compared to the offspinner’s 23.55, from the same number of matches.
Rabada leads the charts this year, with 38 wickets from seven Tests, followed by Vernon Philander’s 31 from as many matches. Rabada was named the Player of the Year by both his peers and fans, and his delivery to send David Warner’s stumps cartwheeling in the Cape Town Test in March this year fetched him an award too.
David Miller won the Always Original Award for his record-breaking T20 century against Bangladesh, whereas Aiden Markram was named the International Newcomer of the Year for scoring exactly 1000 runs in his debut Test season at an average of 55.55. He also took on the role of ODI captain at a young age of 23.
Van Niekerk was rewarded for her performances in recent times that included figures of 4 for 0 against West Indies in the World Cup in England last year, where they reached the semi-finals for the first time. She is currently ranked third and fourth in the ICC’s allrounders rankings in ODIs and T20Is respectively.
“Simply outstanding! What a year both Kagiso and Dane have had,” CSA’s acting CEO Thabang Moroe said. “They have both shown the maturity of seasoned campaigners with performances that have really counted when needed most, often blowing away the opposition in the process. It is encouraging that for the second time in a row our premier awards have gone to our young stars who are shining with distinction alongside our world-class senior players (Rabada is 23 and Van Niekerk 25).
“I must particularly highlight the Proteas first ever home Test Series win over Australia and the way our women gripped the imagination of the country as they came so close to their first ever ICC Final.”
In the domestic awards, Titans dominated the night yet again. Mark Boucher retained the title of Coach of the Year and Tabraiz Shamsi collected the limited-overs double of T20 Player of the Year and Momentum One-day Cup Cricketer of the Year. From Warriors, Simon Harmer was named the Sunfoil Series Cricketer of the Year and JJ Smuts got the SACA Most-Valuable-Player award. Cape Cobras got two awards too: Pieter Malan was named the Domestic Players Player of the season and Kyle Verreynne the Domestic Newcomer of the Year.