TELFORD VICE, Bulawayo
YOU can have any award winner you like as long as his name is Kagiso Rabada, who strode the stage to collect six trophies at a Cricket SA (CSA) function in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Rabada scooped the prizes for test and one-day cricketer of the year, the players’ player of the year, the fans’ player of the year, the delivery of the year, and the most important honour – the cricketer of the year.
The fast bowler’s haul of six accolades is a SA record, beating the five AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla have earned in past years.
CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat noted in a statement that Rabada had the “humility and level-headedness that you would normally associate with a senior player”.
Rabada, just more than two months past his 21st birthday, is the youngest player to be named SA’s cricketer of the year. Despite his age, all that seems left for him to achieve in awards terms is to join Jacques Kallis, Makhaya Ntini, Amla and De Villiers as the only players to wear that mantle twice.
However, Rabada did leave a couple of crumbs for his teammates. Imran Tahir was SA’s T20 player of the year and Temba Bavuma won the “So Good” award. Those were the only trophies Rabada was eligible for that he did not claim.
Stephen Cook’s century on test debut against England at Centurion made him the newcomer of the year, while Dane van Niekerk was the women’s cricketer of the year.