JOHANNESBURG – Kagiso Rabada swept the boards at the annual Cricket South Africa Awards on Saturday evening, claiming the Cricketer of the Year for the second time in just three years.
That was one of six trophies Rabada scooped at the ceremony, matching his haul of 2016.
It was certainly justified recognition of his efforts through what was an outstanding summer for the national team particularly the Test side, who beat the No 1-ranked team in the world India, and arch enemies Australia – the latter series win a first since South Africa’s sports isolation ended.
The 2017/18 summer was a grand one for the 23-year-old Rabada, currently the No 1-ranked Test bowler.
In 10 Tests on home soil last season, he picked up 56 wickets at an average of 16.98.
The highlight came against the Australians in Port Elizabeth, where Rabada recorded match figures of 11/150 as the Proteas claimed a crucial series tying win.
Hi summer was not without controversy, and following the shoulder brush with former Australian captain Steve Smith in that PE Test, he needed high-powered lawyer Dali Mpofu’s assistance to ensure he played the last two Tests of that dramatic series.
In a year in which South Africa’s one-day team struggled – mainly due to the selectors and national coach Ottis Gibson wanting to assess as many players as possible with an eye on next year’s World Cup – Rabada’s somewhat modest return of 18 wickets in 14 matches was enough to see him pick up the One-Day International Player of the Year trophy.
AB de Villiers won the T20 title in his final year of eligibility, while Aiden Markram won the Newcomer crown.
The SA Women’s captain Dané van Niekerk was named Women’s Player of the Year, her brilliant all-round abilities – which included that remarkable 4/0 bowling performance against the West Indies in the World Cup – matching her concise leadership.
Van Niekerk has been instrumental in the mental shift that has taken place with the Proteas Women’s team, getting the players to realise that merely competing isn’t enough, and that they should be thinking about winning against the bigger teams.
That resulted in the stunning run to the semi-final of the World Cup last year, where they lost in the final over to eventual champions England.
Van Niekerk is desperate for her side to build on that performance when they head to England on Sunday, and the World T20 later this year in the West Indies is a major target for her and the Women’s team.
Laura Wolvaardt scooped two titles – the Players Player and ODI Player of the Year – while big hitting Chloe Tryon claimed the T20 title.
On the domestic front, the Titans were major winners; left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi winning best player for the T20 and One-Day competitions, while Mark Boucher claimed the Coach of the Year crown for the second year running.
Simon Harmer was named the Sunfoil Series Player of the Year after finishing that competition as the leading wicket-taker with 47.
CSA Award Winners
Professional Awards: National
SA Cricketer of the Year: Kagiso Rabada
Test Cricketer of the Year: Kagiso Rabada
ODI Cricketer of the Year: Kagiso Rabada
T20 International Cricketer of the Year: AB de Villiers
SA Players’ Player of the Year: Kagiso Rabada
SA Fans’ Player of the Year: Kagiso Rabada
Delivery of the Year: Kagiso Rabada (to Warner, 3rd Test v Australia, Newlands)
International Newcomer of the Year: Aiden Markram
SA Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Dané van Niekerk
SA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year: Laura Wolvaardt
Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year: Laura Wolvaardt
Women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year: Chloe Tryon
Professional Awards: Domestic
Sunfoil Series Cricketer of the Season: Simon Harmer (Warriors)
Momentum One-Day Cup Cricketer of the Season: Tabraiz Shamsi (Multiply Titans)
RAM SLAM T20 Challenge Player of the Season: Tabraiz Shamsi (Multiply Titans)
Coach of the Year: Mark Boucher (Multiply Titans)
Domestic Players’ Player of the Season: Pieter Malan (WSB Cape Cobras)
Domestic Newcomer of the Year: Kyle Verreynne (WSB Cape Cobras)
Africa T20 Cup Player of the Tournament: Sarel Erwee (KZN Inland)
SACA Most Valuable Player Award: Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors)
Professional Awards: Operations
CSA Umpires’ Umpire of the Year: Adrian Holdstock
CSA Umpire of the Year: Shaun George
Affiliate of the Year: Northerns Cricket Union
Groundsman of the Year: Evan Flint (PPC Newlands)