Proteas stars Quinton de Kock and Laura Wolvaardt were named SA Men’s and Women’s Cricketer of the Year in their respective categories at Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) virtual awards ceremony which was held on Saturday evening.
The traditional gala ceremony was not possible because of the Covid-19 lockdown, but did not stop the CSA family celebrating the occasion in a suitable manner.
De Kock and Wolvaardt were honoured in three different categories.
De Kock was also named Test Cricketer of the Year and honoured by his peers as SA Men’s Players’ Player of the Year, while Wolvaardt was named Proteas ODI Cricketer of the Year and voted SA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year.
De Kock joined the elite company of those who have been named SA Men’s Cricketer of the Year on two occasions as he was previously honoured in 2017. The other double winners of CSA’s most prestigious men’s award are Jacques Kallis (2004 and 2011), Makhaya Ntini (2005 and 2006), Hashim Amla (2010 and 2013), AB de Villiers (2014 and 2015) and Kagiso Rabada (2016 and 2018).
The other previous winners since the awards were instituted in 2004 are Shaun Pollock (2007), Dale Steyn (2008), Graeme Smith (2009), Vernon Philander (2012) and Faf du Plessis (2019).
Wolvaardt becomes the youngest winner of South Africa’s top women’s award at the age of 21 years and two months, with Sune Luus being just two months older when she won the award in 2017.
In a first for gender equality, two of the awards – the SA Fans’ Cricketer of the Year which was decided by an online poll and the KFC Streetwise Award – were contested by both the Proteas men’s and women’s players. The former award went to David Miller in a tight contest which was only decided in the final week and the latter was won by Mignon du Preez for her brilliant six hit that virtually clinched South Africa’s victory over England at this year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
It played a critical role in getting the Proteas through to the semi-finals and was also South Africa’s first victory over England in a major ICC women’s tournament.
The other big winners in the men’s national awards were Lungi Ngidi, who was named both Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year and Men’s T20 International Cricketer of the Year, and Anrich Nortje who was not only named Men’s International Newcomer of the Year but also won the Delivery of the Year award for his dismissal of David Warner in the third ODI at Senwes Park.
The other top award in the women’s category went to Shabnim Ismail, who was again named Proteas T20 International Player of the Year, while the theme of youthful winners continued with 19-year-old Nonkululeko Mlaba being named International Women’s Newcomer of the Year.
“Quinny and Laura have set the highest standards that we expect from our icon Proteas players,” CSA’s acting CEO Jacques Faul said via a press statement. “Quinny is the leading wicketkeeper/batsman in Test cricket and is, in fact, one of the leading batsmen in both red ball and white ball cricket. He is also starting to emerge as an outstanding leader as witnessed by the Proteas clean sweep of Australia in their recent ODI series.
“Laura was named in the tournament select XI at the conclusion of the ICC Women’s World T20 which tells us a great deal about the esteem in which she is held at international level. At the age of 21 her best years are ahead of her and she will be a key player when the Momentum Proteas go to the ICC Women’s World Cup next year.”
Faul added that he was pleased to see a number of young players starting to dominate at international level as South African cricket enters a new era.
“Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi have ensured that our fast bowling stocks remain among the best in the world.
“It is an important sign of the changing face of cricket that for the first time our best men’s and women’s players competed on a level playing field for some of the awards and Mignon du Preez’s achievement in being named winner of the KFC Streetwise Award is a very significant one. She has been a wonderful servant of the game for a long period of time and her performance in reaching the milestone of 100 T20 International caps deserves special mention.
“Our domestic cricket remains blessed with great talents and congratulations to all the winners in those categories as well. I warmly congratulate all our winners, both at international and domestic level, and I also wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge our umpires, grounds staff and scorers, too.”
Grant Roelofsen of the Dolphins was one of two big winners in the Professional Awards: Domestic category, being named One-Day Cup Cricketer of the Season and Domestic Players’ Player of the Season. George Linde of the Cape Cobras was also a double winner, being named Four-day Domestic Series Cricketer of the Year and the SACA Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The other winners were Wandile Gwavu of the Lions (Coach of the Season) and Wandile Makwetu of the Knights (Domestic Newcomer of the season).
The Mzansi Super League awards went to Tabraiz Shamsi of the Paarl Rocks as Mzansi Super League Impact Player of the Year and to Janneman Malan of the Cape Town Blitz as Mzansi Super League Young Player of the Year.
The provincial category winners were: Lerato Kgoatle (CSA Provincial T20 Cricketer of the Year), Beyers Swanepoel (CSA Provincial Three-Day Cricketer of the Year), Ruan de Swardt (CSA Provincial One-Day Cricketer of the Year) and Richard das Neves (Provincial Coach of the Year).
In the operational category, Adrian Holdstock did the double of both the CSA Umpire of the Year and the CSA Umpires’ Umpire of the Year.
The CSA Fair Play award went to the Warriors and the CSA Scorers of the Year award to the Central Gauteng Lions.