The breadth of Kagiso Rabada‘s impact for the Proteas over the past year was reflected in the six awards he won as Cricket South Africa held its annual ceremony in Johannesburg on Saturday evening (June 2). Rabada scooped all but two of the eight awards available to him, and was unsurprisingly named South African Cricketer of the Year in the Men’s category, while Dane van Niekerk’s exploits in the women’s game earned her the same title.
“It is encouraging that for the second time in a row our premier awards have gone to our young stars who are shining with distinction alongside our world-class senior players,” said CSA’s acting chief executive Thabang Moroe. Rabada is still only 23, while van Niekerk is 25.
The pair had previously been named as South Africa’s Cricketers of the Year in 2016, when Rabada also picked up six awards – more than any other player in the awards history. This time around he was named as both the Test and ODI Cricketer of the Year, the SA Players’ Player of the Year and SA Fans Player of the Year, while his dismissal of David Warner at the end of a fierce battle in the third Test at Newlands was honoured as the Ram Delivery of the Year.
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
KFC Colonel’s Always Original Award: David Miller (fastest T20I century v Bangladesh)
Delivery of the Year: Kagiso Rabada (to Warner, 3rd Test v Australia, PPC Newlands)
International Newcomer of the Year: Aiden Markram
SA Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Dane 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
The splash of trophies followed from a year in which he took 72 wickets in 13 Tests at an average of 19.52, a period that saw him rise to the top of the ICC’s Test rankings. His form in one-day cricket was not as good – he only managed 11 wickets in as many ODIs, averaging 43 – but he remained an ever-present in an ODI side that endured a difficult, injury-hit period.
The two awards that Rabada did not pick up were the T20 International Player of the Year, which was won by the freshly-retired AB de Villiers, and the KFC Colonel’s Always Original Award, which went to David Miller for his record-breaking T20 century against Bangladesh. Meanwhile Aiden Markram was deservedly named as the International Newcomer of the Year after he scored 1000 runs at an average of 55.55 in his first 10 Tests.
Van Niekerk’s award came on the back of her stellar personal achievements as well as her leadership of the women’s team. During the course of the year she rose to the No. 2 spot on the ICC’s all-rounder rankings, and was ranked as the ninth-best bowler in the game, a position that came from performances such as her 4 for 0 against the West Indies at the World Cup in England. Van Niekerk’s showings came in spite of the responsibility of captaining a team who reached the semi-finals of the competition, and in the process propelled the women’s game into the South African consciousness.
The batting star of that campaign, teenager Laura Wolvaardt, scored 324 runs at 64.8 and was named Women’s ODI Player of the Year as well as SA Women’s Players Player of the Year. The T20 International Player of the Year award went to Chloe Tryon.
On the domestic front, the major awards were taken by the Titans, who scooped both the Sunfoil Series and Ram Slam T20 trophies. Their coach Mark Boucher retained the Coach of the Year award, while Tabraiz Shamsi did the limited overs double of Ram Slam T20 Challenge Player of the Year and Momentum One-day Cup Cricketer of the Year. Simon Harmer was named Sunfoil Series Cricketer of the Year, whose 47 wickets in the season nearly carried the Warriors to an unlikely trophy.