JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa’s enmity towards Duanne Olivier – and specifically his decision to take up a Kolpak contract – has seen the big fast bowler erased from this year’s official awards nominees list released on Friday.
Olivier picked up 24 wickets in the three-Test series against Pakistan last season, South Africa’s only Test series win of the summer.
But he was shunned by Cricket SA and his name is missing across all categories in their list of nominees for the country’s best cricketers in the last year.
The period in which the players were judged started with last year’s tour to Sri Lanka, and concluded with the World Cup.
South Africa lost the Test series in Sri Lanka, and went down against the same opponents again on home soil earlier this year, a series Olivier missed after he took up that Kolpak contract with Yorkshire.
Clearly that decision has left a bitter taste in the corridors of CSA, and despite his historic achievement against the Pakistanis – the most wickets by a South African bowler in the post-isolation era – his name is nowhere to be found among the list of nominees.
Dale Steyn, who across seven Tests in the period under consideration claimed 20 wickets, has been nominated in the Cricketer of the Year category.
Olivier’s decision to head to England following his starring role in the series against Pakistan caused a great deal of anger among Cricket SA’s senior administration.
Olivier signed for Yorkshire in February, having not revealed to anyone locally that he was in negotiations with them.
Cricket SA’s chief executive Thabang Moroe said he found Olivier’s decision “extremely disappointing” at the time, and warned the International Cricket Council that it was not “good news” for the legitimacy of the international game.
The legitimacy of CSA’s Awards will be called into question now, however.
Olivier may no longer be on their books, but he was a contracted player when the Proteas won that series against Pakistan, and his exploits certainly bear recognition.
He was recognised as the domestic four-day player of the year in 2017 when his franchise, the Knights, won that competition, with Olivier the top wicket-taker with 52.
He has played nine matches for Yorkshire this season, and taken 29 wickets at an average of 34.89.
Cricket South Africa Awards: International Nominees
T20 Cricketer of the Year: Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Rassie van der Dussen
ODI Cricketer of the Year: Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen
Test Cricketer of the Year: Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn
Cricket SA Delivery of the Year: Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada
Women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year: Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Dané van Niekerk
Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year: Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee, Dané van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt
Women’s Players’ Player of the Year: Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee, Dané van Niekerk
Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee, Dané van Niekerk
Men’s Cricketer of the Year: Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada@shockerhess