Vernon is the obvious choice

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Philander_trophy3 Gallo Images Vernon Philander.

So, on to part two of the end of season awards where we state the obvious, see who the new kid on the block is and deal with curses and voodoo.

It’s obvious, he’s obviously been the outstanding player for the SA International award: Vernon Philander. The only thing quicker than the speed with which he picked up Test wickets – 51 in seven Tests – was how often and readily he slipped the word “obviously” into every interview and press conference. It may make for mickey-taking for TV viewers and journalists, but if Philander keeps taking wickets at his current rate, he will “obviously” become one of SA’s greats

Face of Cricket award: Actual cricketers. You know the people with pads, gloves, a bat, who bowl and catch and stuff. Not someone who cheesed off sponsors and put themselves on the covers of various magazines with a tub of make-up and a two grand hairdo.

Kids Choice: Quinton de Kock. How can you not like this kid. He did an outstanding job leading the SA Under-19 team against Pakistan and in a triangular series, and then rapidly established himself as the player to watch following a series of outstanding displays for the Highveld Lions in the MiWayT20 Challenge.

Not the Newsmaker award: Yes, we understand it was hard for CSA to find sponsors this season – what with potential backers not knowing if their money was going into the sport or into purchasing someone’s wardrobe – but unfortunately for the newspaper whose managing editor is an “independent” CSA Board member, their sponsorship of cricket related stuff, didn’t turn out so well. There was that baffling T20 international with India which rained out at the Wanderers, and then we had the Impi: played 12, lost 10 and earned their four log points from two “no results” in rained out matches. A sponsor’s curse perhaps?

Who is He? award: Barry Richards for not knowing who the national team’s manager was during the New Zealand tour. During the first Test in Dunedin the camera panned and showed Mohammed Moosajee, who has been the national side’s manager for four years, but somehow Richards, hired by Sky NZ to be their South African “expert” reckoned Moosajee “was the guy from the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit.” Oops.

Voodoo award: The West Indies in 2008. That’s the last time SA won a Test at Kingsmead. It also happened to be Shaun Pollock’s final Test. Since then, England, Australia, India and Sri Lanka have all won there. Maybe Polly should come out of retirement briefly to reverse the curse. – The Star

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