SA's cricketer of the year revealed

Shaun Pollock was named the Cricketer of the Year at the fourth Mutual & Federal SA Cricket Awards held in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The Proteas legendary fast bowler scooped the prestigious award ahead of Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis, Makhaya Ntini and Ashwell Prince, who were all strong contenders.

Last year's winner, Makhaya Ntini was voted the Fans Cricketer of the Year while vice-captain, Jacques Kallis won the Standard Bank ODI Cricketer of the Year award.

Ashwell Prince was rewarded for his battles in the Castle Test Series against India and Pakistan by winning the Castle Test Cricketer of the Year award. Mark Boucher was voted the SA Players' Player of the Year and Paul Harris was named the SA Newcomer of the Year.

Gauteng won three of the four professional awards. Highveld Lions coach Gordon Parsons was named Coach of the Year, and for the fourth consecutive year, the Groundsman of the Year award went to Chris Scott of the Wanderers Stadium. Gauteng were named the Scorers Association of the Year for the second time in a row, and Boland's Marais Erasmus won the Umpire of the Year - also for the second consecutive year.

Cricket South Africa's chief executive, Gerald Majola, said the disappointing results at the World Cup should be seen against the backdrop of the Proteas producing one of the best international seasons since unity.

"We will now build on this success for the next season as well as taking into account the lessons learnt at the World Cup.

"These annual Cricket Awards show that diversity is our strength and we must use this diversity to our advantage," said Majola.

"We also have solid development and high performance structures in place and we have the talent out there to get us to the top.

"We must ensure that we utilise this diverse talent in building for the future."

On the domestic scene, Diamond Eagles player Morne van Wyk won three of the five awards up for grabs in this category. Van Wyk's efforts throughout the season were rewarded with the MTN Domestic Championships Cricketer of the Year, the Standard Bank Pro20 Cricketer of the Year and the Domestic Players' Player of the Year awards.

Team-mate Ryan McClaren won the SuperSport Series Cricketer of the Year and the Warriors' Lonwabo Tsotsobe is the 2006/07 season's Domestic Newcomer of the Year.

In the Amateur Awards category, Gauteng's Rico du Plessis took the PG Bison Under-15 Player of the Tournament award, Limpopo's Gust Greyvenstein won the Under-17 Player of the Tournament award and KwaZulu-Natal's Jonathan Vandiar was the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Under-19 Player of the Tournament.

Richard Levi from Western Province is the Coca-Cola Under-19 Cricketer of the Year and Tuks' Gert Lotriet received the Student Cricketer of the Year award.

The Club Championships Player of the Tournament went to Maurice Aronstam from PHSOB, who also received the Khaya Majola Amateur Cricket Award for his contribution to the development of the sport.

The Rural Cricketer of the Year is Leslie du Piesanie from the Eastern Province Midlands, Shamiel Howley from Western Province won the Deaf Cricketer of the Year and the Intellectually Impaired Cricketer of the Year is Keelan Doorsamy from KZN.

Jean Symes from Gauteng won the SAA Provincial Amateur Cricketer of the Year award, Ashlyn Kilowan from Western Province was named the Womens Cricketer of the Year and the Bakers Administrator of the Year is Eastern Province's Belinda Allie. - Sapa


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