Kagiso Rabada hit the record books for a six when he was named South African Cricketer of the Year and in all received a total of six awards at a glittering Cricket South Africa (CSA) awards banquet in Sandton on Tuesday evening.
He is the first player to win six individual awards – both AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla had previously won five – and at the age of 21 years 62 days is by far the youngest to have won South African cricket’s premier accolade.
The other eight players to have received CSA’s most prestigious award are Jacques Kallis (2004 and 2011), Makhaya Ntini (2005 and 2006), Hashim Amla (2010 and 2013) and AB de Villiers (2014 and 2015) who have all won the award twice with the other previous winners being Shaun Pollock (2007), Dale Steyn (2008), Graeme Smith (2009), and Vernon Philander (2012).
In addition to the main award, Rabada was named Castle Lager Test Cricketer of the Year and Castle Lager ODI Cricketer of the Year, was honoured by his peers by being named SA Players’ Player of the Year and by the fans on being named SA Fans Player of the Year. He received his sixth award for bowling the RAM delivery of the Year to England’s Jason Roy in the KFC T20 International at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium.
His international statistics are remarkable with 24 wickets in only 6 matches at an average of 24.70 with a strike rate of 39.6 and 37 wickets in 20 ODIs at an average of 21.45 with an economy rate of 4.78 and a strike rate of 26.9.
The only awards he did not win for which he was eligible were the Oxigen T20 International Player of the Year award that went to Imran Tahir and the KFC So Good award that went to Temba Bavuma.
Stephen Cook, who made a century on Test debut, was named International Newcomer of the Year while the new national captain, Dane van Niekerk, was named Momentum Women’s Cricketer of the Year.
“Simply outstanding! Congratulations to Kagiso on recording one of the most remarkable debut years that any young cricketer has achieved in our history,” commented CSA chief executive, Haroon Lorgat. “Added to his record-breaking performances and statistics is his humility and level-headedness that you would normally associate with a senior player.
“With injuries to our main fast bowlers during this past year, he has had to step up and lead the attack. How brilliantly has he done that!
“This may not have been the best year for the Proteas in a team sense but there have been some great individual performances, especially from newcomers to the side. Temba Bavuma and Stephen Cook, who are other award winners this evening plus Quinton de Kock have all recorded their maiden Test centuries.
“Our domestic cricket remains blessed with great talents and congratulations to all the winners in that category as well.
“I warmly congratulate all our winners, both at an international and domestic level and let us not forget to acknowledge our umpires, grounds staff and scorers, too.”
The Multiply Titans were the biggest winners in the Professional Awards: Domestic category with Heino Kuhn being named Sunfoil Series Cricketer of the Year as well as the Domestic Players’ Player of the Year, Rob Walter being named Pitchvision Coach of the Year and Albie Morkel RAM Slammer of the Year. In addition, Lungi Ngidi of Northerns was the first winner of the Africa T20 Cup Player of the Tournament.
The bizhub Lions also had a good evening with Alviro Petersen being named Momentum One-Day Cup Player of the Year, Nicky van den Bergh Domestic Newcomer of the Year and Dwaine Pretorius receiving the SACA Most Valuable Player award.
The Cape Cobras won the Fair Play award.
Adrian Holdstock was named Umpire of the Year while Bethuel Buthelezi achieved the distinction of being named groundsman of the year in his first season as head curator at the Bidvest Wanderers Bullring.