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De Kock and Wolvaardt walk away with main prizes at Cricket SA awards

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Quinton de Kock and Laura Wolvaardt were the big winners in Saturday night's Cricket South Africa Awards.

Quinton de Kock blasted the fastest Proteas T20I half-century off just 17 balls earlier this year against England. Picture: BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Laura Wolvaardt’s sparkling performances in the Women’s T20 World Cup and Quinton de Kock’s consistency across all formats – in what was a difficult season for South Africa’s men’s team – saw the pair rewarded the highest accolades – Women’s and Men’s Cricketer of the Year respectively at a unique ‘ceremony’ on Saturday night.

For the first time, Cricket South Africa dished out it’s annual awards in a ‘virtual’ ceremony as it adhered to the country’s lockdown measures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Normally a highlight on the local cricket calendar, with plenty of pomp and ceremony, this year’s awards could only be enjoyed via social media platforms – facebook and youtube.

Nevertheless it did provide Cricket SA with a flicker of good news at a time when – besides the pandemic – the organisation has been mired in controversy, most of it of their own making. 

Again, it was left to the players to shine a positive light on the sport, and Wolvaardt in particular has shone brighter than most following her exploits at the World Cup in Australia earlier this year. Her stunning unbeaten 53 in the last group match against Pakistan – which secured South Africa’s place in the tournament semi-final – was one of the highlights of the competition. It came at a time when South Africa desperately needed to accelerate the scoring rate and contained some of the finest strokeplay seen by any South African player – man or woman – in the 2019/20 season. 

The talented 21 year old, who halted medical studies to pursue her cricket career – and is also the owner of a lovely singing voice – was named in the World Cup’s team of the tournament, having followed up her half century against Pakistan, with a gutsy 41 not out in the semi-final against eventual champions Australia, that nearly dragged the Proteas over the line. 

“As disappointing as the outcome was for us, that World Cup will remain a highlight for me,” Wolvaardt said after receiving her award on Saturday night.

De Kock was virtually the lone star in a turbulent summer for the men’s side. He was the leading run-scorer in all three formats in the series’ against England and along with Dean Elgar was the only player to make a Test hundred for the men’s team – both of those landmarks achieved in the first Test against India last October.

“I’ve had the best lockdown ever,” quipped De Kock, “I’ve not picked up a bat since the end of that Australia series and it’s been really good for me to have this break.”

At 27, De Kock is now very much the heartbeat of the Proteas, and has taken on even more responsibility as captain of the two white ball teams, with the cleansweep of the Australians in an ODI series at the end of the summer, a sign of how the team were growing under his leadership. 

Besides the Cricketers of the Year recognition, Wolvaardt and De Kock were also recognised by their peers as Players Player of the Year in their respective teams – a sign of the regard in which they are held by those with whom they share the dressing-room. 

Wolvaardt was also named Women’s ODI Player of the Year, while Shabnim Ismael was named the best T20 player.

FILE – Laura Wolvaardt played the best T20 innings of her career to set up a comfortable victory for South Africa that sees the Proteas qualify for the semifinal of the T20 World Cup for just the second time. Photo: Craig Golding / EPA

De Kock claimed the Test player of the year title, while Lungi Ngidi scooped those accolades for the two white ball formats. “It is good to see the number of young players starting to dominate at international level as we move into a new era following the retirement of some of the game’s legends. Anrich Nortje (Newcomer of the Season) and Lungi Ngidi have ensured that our fast bowling stocks remain among the best in the world,” said Faul.

Domestically, the Cape Cobras’ George Linde, and Grant Roelofsen of the Dolphins picked up the top awards in the Four-Day series and Momentum One-Day Cup categories. 

The Highveld Lions Wandile Gwavu was named coach of the year, while Adrian Holdstock received two awards indicating he was the country’s top umpire. 

AWARD WINNERS

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS: NATIONAL

SA Men’s Cricketer of the Year: Quinton de Kock

SA Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Laura Wolvaardt

Standard Bank Test Cricketer of the Year: Quinton de Kock

Standard Bank ODI Cricketer of the Year: Lungi Ngidi

Standard Bank T20 International Cricketer of the Year: Lungi Ngidi

SA Men Players’ Player of the Year: Quinton de Kock

SA Fans’ Player of the Year: David Miller

KFC Streetwise Colonel Always Original Award: Mignon du Preez (six hit vs England, T20 World Cup)

RAM Delivery of the Year: Anrich Nortjé (dismissal of David Warner, 3rd ODI)

International Men’s Newcomer of the Year: Anrich Nortjé

International Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Nonkululeko Mlaba

SA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year: Laura Wolvaardt

Momentum ProteasWomen’s ODI Cricketer of the Year: Laura Wolvaardt

Momentum Proteas Women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year: Shabnim Ismail

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS: DOMESTIC

CSA Provincial T20 Cricketer of the year: Lerato Kgoatle (Limpopo)

CSA Provincial Three-Day Cricketer of the year: Beyers Swanepoel (Northern Cape)

Pitchvision Provincial coach of the year: Richard das Neves (Easterns)

CSA Provincial One-day Cricketer of the year: Ruan de Swardt (Northerns)

MSL Impact Player of the year: Tabraiz Shamsi (Paarl Rocks)

MSL Young Player of the year: Janneman Malan (CT Blitz)

Four-day Domestic Series Cricketer of the Season: George Linde (Cape Cobras)

Momentum One-Day Cup Cricketer of the Season: Grant Roelofsen (Hollywoodbets Dolphins)

Mzansi Super League Impact Player of the Year: Tabraiz Shamsi (Paarl Rocks)

Mzansi Super League Young Player of the Year: Janneman Malan (Cape Town Blitz)

Pitchvision Coach of the Season: Wandile Gwavu (Imperial Lions)

Domestic Players’ Player of the Season: Grant Roelofsen (Hollywoodbets Dolphins)

Domestic Newcomer of the Season: Wandile Makwetu (VKB Knights)

SACA Most Valuable Player Award: George Linde (Cape Cobras)

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS: OPERATIONS

CSA Umpires’ Umpire of the Year: Adrian Holdstock

CSA Umpire of the Year: Adrian Holdstock

CSA Scorers Association of the Year: Central Gauteng Lions

CSA Fair Play Award: Warriors

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