Top honours for Philander

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Johannesburg - Vernon Philander completed a fairy tale debut year of Test cricket when he was named both South African Cricketer of the Year and Sunfoil Test Cricketer of the Year at Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Gala Awards Banquet at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday night.

His national popularity was confirmed when he also won a third award - the CSA Fans' Cricketer of the Year.

By being named South African Cricketer of the Year, the 26-year-old joins the elite company of Jacques Kallis (twice), Makhaya Ntini (twice), Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, who are previous winners of South Africa's most prestigious cricketing award.

There were two dual international winners on the night: AB de Villiers, who was named Sunfoil One-Day International Cricketer of the Year and SA Players' Player of the Year, and Richard Levi, who was named CSA International T20 Cricketer of the Year and also won the KFC 'So Good' Award for his world record century against New Zealand in the same format.

The other international award went to Marchant de Lange who took 7/81 on his Test match debut against Sri Lanka and also bowled a memorable final over to take 2/2 and clinch the T20 series against New Zealand.

In the domestic professional category the three main awards went to Dean Elgar (CSA 1-Day Cup Cricketer of the Year), Farhaan Behardien (MiWay T20 Cricketer of the Year) and Alviro Petersen (SuperSport Series Cricketer of the Year).

Matthew Maynard, who guided the Nashua Titans to two titles in his debut season, was named CSA Coach of the Year while Morne van Wyk and Faf du Plessis were recognised by their peers to be named South African Cricketers' Association Most Valuable Player and Domestic Players' Player of the Year respectively.

CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul congratulated all the winners as well as those who made the list of nominees.

“The performances of our cricketers remain at an all-time high,” he said.

“You only have to look at the number of our Proteas who have held the No. 1 position on the official ICC rankings list for the past 12 months in the various formats. This list includes Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

“The Proteas players have also performed outstandingly well at the latest edition of the Indian Premier League where Morne Morkel was the leading wicket-taker and Faf du Plessis one of the leading runs scorers.

“Nowhere is this excellence better recorded than in the brilliance of Vernon Philander who won CSA's supreme award. He took 51 wickets in his first seven Test matches - the second quickest performance of all time and the first time this has been achieved in nearly 120 years on pitches that were far more conducive to good batting performances than was the case 100 years ago,” said Faul.

“What I also find highly encouraging is the way new young talent has come to the fore this season and has been recognised by our distinguished judging panel. Richard Levi won two awards while Marchant de Lange's debut Test performance as well as his heroics in only his second T20 International was quite exceptional.

“He has maintained the standard that our other international rookies have set over the years. He is a very worthy successor to Imran Tahir who won last year's award.” - Sapa


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