In less than a month, the crème de la crème of South African cricket will be crowned winners of their selected categories. From domestic, national and beyond, Cricket South Africa will celebrate the previous season by awarding players and coaches who have performed exceptionally on 3 June 2015 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The awards will honour all cricket avenues in South Africa. There will be a breakfast awards event in the morning for those who played well in amateur cricket, as well as a golf day which will feature cricket’s elite – stakeholders, sponsors and the Proteas.
“We really had a tough time in reaching the shortlisted nominees,” said Aslam Khota, convenor of the judging panel. “We were blessed with excellent and consistence [sic] performances on both the domestic and international front and this created healthy debate among the panel as we finalized the shortlist.”
However, the judging panel consisting of South African commentators and cricket writers were more than capable of getting the job done. This season’s judging panel includes HD Ackerman, Victor Mpitsang, Neil Manthorp, Makhaya Ntini as well as convenor Aslam Khota and statistician Andrew Samson.
Getting the fans involved is an added bonus. It will be interesting to see who the Fans Cricketer of the Year and the Ram Delivery of the Season will go to.
Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn are all competing for the highly desired SA Cricketer of the Year award. Amla is the only player nominated in three categories, the others being ODI Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year.
The usual suspects are competing in the same categories. Amla, Morkel, de Villiers and Imran Tahir are all up for the ODI Cricketer of the Year award.
Dean Elgar, Amla and Steyn are nominated for Test Cricketer of the Year. The opening batsmen up against the main fast bowler.
Skipper Faf du Plessis and Morne van Wyk are up for the International T20 Cricketer of the Year award alongside all-rounder David Wiese.
The maiden century scored by Morne van Wyk in the T20 International against West Indies is surely worth the International T20 Cricketer of the Year award. Not forgetting, he became only the third South African to score a T20 ton as he came from a four year absence.
Young Kagiso Rabada is up for Sunfoil Series Cricketer of the Season and Domestic Newcomer of the Season awards. He would be well-deserving for one or both of these awards as he broke the record for the most wickets in a match in franchise cricket when he took 14 wickets for 105 runs against the Sunfoil Dolphins.
With Dale Steyn on the brink of retiring from the shorter formats of cricket, Rabada could become a regular in the Proteas camp.
Domestically, only three of the franchises could get their players names on the awards nominees list. As usual, the Nashua Cape Cobras have the most nominees with seven players, followed by the bizhub Highveld Lions with six nominees and The Unlimited Titans with three nominees.
What can be said is that all the names on this list deserve to be on it. These South African players (and Kieron Pollard), played unquestionably well during the past season.
Momentum One-Day Cup Cricketer of the Season
Andrew Puttick (Nashua Cape Cobras), Dean Elgar (The Unlimited Titans), Robin Peterson (Nashua Cape Cobras)
RAM Slammer of the Season
Kieron Pollard (Nashua Cape Cobras), Eddie Leie (bizhub Highveld Lions), Richard Levi (Nashua Cape Cobras)
Sunfoil Series Cricketer of the Season
Hardus Viljoen (bizhub Highveld Lions), Kagiso Rabada (bizhub Highveld Lions), Stephen Cook (bizhub Highveld Lions), Dane Paterson (Nashua Cape Cobras)
CSA Coach of the Season
Rob Walter (The Unlimited Titans), Geoffrey Toyana (bizhub Highveld Lions), Paul Adams (Nashua Cape Cobras)
Domestic Newcomer of the Season
Theunis de Bruyn (The Unlimited Titans), Kagiso Rabada (bizhub Highveld Lions), George Linde (Nashua Cape Cobras)
Momentum Women’s Cricketer of the Year
Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk