Rabada has the chance to emulate Proteas legends Makhaya Ntini, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers in winning the award twice
The Proteas should be a force to be reckoned with for years to come, judging by the amount of young talent dominating Cricket SA’s list of awards nominees this year.
Previous SA Cricketer of the Year winner Kagiso Rabada (2016) once again headlines the list, with the world’s No 1 ranked Test bowler nominated in four categories: SA Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year, ODI Cricketer of the Year and RAM Delivery of the Year. In addition, he could secure his teammates’ vote as SA Players’ Player of the Year and could be a contender for SA Fans’ Cricketer of the Year as well.
Rabada (pictured) has the chance to emulate Proteas legends Makhaya Ntini, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers in winning the award twice.
Rabada, who was named Man of the Series for his epic contribution with the ball in driving the Proteas to a first Test series win over Australia on home soil since South Africa’s return to international cricket, faces stiff competition though from his former SA Under-19 World Cup winning captain Aiden Markram.
The 23-year-old opening batsman had a major breakout international season, having only debuted at the beginning of the past summer against Bangladesh.
His performances at the top of the order for the Proteas, particularly in Test cricket where he struck four centuries including two against the Aussies, has seen him surge into the top 10 on the ICC rankings list already.
Markram has been nominated in no fewer than three categories: SA Cricketer of the Year, Standard Bank Test Cricketer of the Year and International Newcomer of the Year.
The youthful theme continues with fast bowler Lungi Ngidi (22) being nominated for the Delivery of the Year in addition to the International Newcomer of the Year.
In addition to Rabada and Markram the other nominations for CSA’s supreme award, the SA Cricketer of the Year, are De Villiers, Dean Elgar and Vernon Philander, who are also all in the top 10 Test rankings for batting in the case of the former two and for bowling in the case of the latter.
The trio have also been nominated for Test Cricketer of the Year while De Villiers also has a nomination for T20 International Cricketer of the Year.
In the women’s section there are four nominations each for Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk and fast bowler Shabnim Ismail and three nominations for teenage star Laura Wolvaardt.
“It is my great pleasure and privilege to congratulate all the nominees as we celebrate another successful year of achievement by our Proteas who won major Test series against both India and Australia and remained ranked in the top two in the world in Test match cricket and No 3 in ODI cricket,” said CSA Acting CEO Thabang Moroe.
“Our ladies have also done us proud by reaching the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup before losing by the narrowest of margins to the eventual champions.
“And let us not forget to thank all those great and selfless people who work diligently behind the scenes to create opportunities for our leading cricketers to excel.
“Our country continues to produce world-class players. We only need reflect on the superb way in which Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar have shone over the past year and who continue to grow alongside established greats like AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Morné Morkel and Vernon Philander.”
The CSA Awards Judging Panel consists of journalists Aslam Khota (convener), Neil Manthorp and former Proteas Victor Mpitsang, Robin Peterson, and Shafiek Abrahams with statistical input from Andrew Samson.