Lungi Ngidi took 6/39 on his Proteas Test debut against India. Photo: EPA

JOHANNESBURG – Aiden Markram and Lungi Ngidi, two of South Africa’s most exciting young talents, are among the five Cricketers of the Year named in the 2018 South African Cricket Annual published on Thursday.

Markram scored 1 000 runs at an average of 55.55 in his first season of Test cricket, while fast bowler Ngidi made a sensational start to his Test career by taking 6/39 on debut against India at Centurion.

Unlike the official Cricket South Africa awards, a player can only be honoured once as a SA Cricket Annual Cricketer of the Year.

The other three players named in the 2018 Annual are Titans fast bowler Junior Dala, Warriors captain and all-rounder Jon-Jon Smuts and Lions batsman Rassie van der Dussen.

The South African Cricket Annual, edited by veteran journalist Colin Bryden, is widely regarded as one of the best publications of its type, a local equivalent of England’s famed Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

The 2018 edition consists of 680 pages, packed with feature articles, reports, photographs, scores and statistics.

It covers one of the most eventful periods in South Africa’s cricketing history, with a home season which featured ten Test matches, including series wins against India and Australia.

All South Africa’s international men’s and women’s international matches, up to and including the tour of Sri Lanka in August, are covered in detail.

Feature articles include an examination of the state of pitches in South Africa, and a full account of the controversies which marked the series against Australia.

There are also tributes to AB de Villiers and Morné Morkel to mark their retirements from international cricket, with the article on De Villiers tracing his career highlights from the age of 12, when he first shone in a national Under-13 Week.

Dedicated cricket followers will be particularly fascinated by the detailed statistical sections, compiled by Andrew Samson, Cricket South Africa’s world-renowned official statistician.

A comprehensive Obituaries section recalls the lives of a range of cricketing personalities, who died during the past year, including Test stars Colin Bland and Clive van Ryneveld and all-rounder Sulaiman ‘Dik’ Abed, who left apartheid South Africa and became a legend in England’s Lancashire League.

African News Agency (ANA)