Less than a year after making a stunning debut for the Proteas, 21-year-old Kagiso Rabada hit the record books for a six when he was named South African’s youngest ever Cricketer of the Year and also scooped up five other awards at a gala hosted by Cricket South Africa.
Rabada became the first South African player to win six individual awards, beating the record of five held by teammates Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers.
After receiving the top accolade, Rabada was asked what his best moment in his short career so far, and his response was: “We play so many games, but when we won the series in India.”
Besides the top award, Rabada was named Test Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year, and was not nominated in the third category, as the T20 International Cricketer of the Year award went to Pakistan-born Imran Tahir.
Rabada was also honoured by his peers for being named SA Players’ Player of the Year and by the 60,000 fans who voted in a contest to find the SA Fans Player of the Year.
Rabada’s sixth award was for the Delivery of the Year, which he bowled to England’s Jason Roy in the T20 International at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. His international statistics are remarkable with 24 wickets in only 6 matches at an average of 24.70 and 37 wickets in 20 ODIs at an average of 21.45 with an economy rate of 4.78.
Stephen Cook, who made a century on his Test debut, was named International Newcomer of the Year while the new national captain, Dane van Niekerk, was named Momentum Women’s Cricketer of the Year. Veteran South African Indian cricketer Ahmed Patel was inducted into the CSA Hall of Fame and was awarded a special blazer, while another veteran who had pioneered schools cricket development in South Africa, Rushdi Magiet, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.