White-ball skipper Quinton de Kock was named the men’s ‘cricketer of the year’ at Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) annual awards ceremony, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 27-year-old also bagged the Test cricketer of the year while young opener Laura Wolvaardt took home the women’s cricketer of the year and ODI cricketer of the year awards. Pacer Lungi Ngidi was named ODI and T20 player of the year while David Miller was voted the fans’ favourite player. Anrich Nortje, who made his Test debut in India and took a five-for in the Test series against England, was adjudged the International men’s ‘newcomer’ of the year. Shabnim Ismail took home the women’s T20 player of the year with left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba was recognised as the women’s ‘newcomer’ of the Year. This is the second time de Kock has won the men’s Cricketer of the Year, having claimed the accolade in 2017.
With the win on Saturday night de Kock became one of the multiple winners of the award, joining the elite company of 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). “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,” CSA Acting CEO, Jacques Faul was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
The soft-spoken Johannesburg-born star was a shining light with his performances with glove and bat during a dark period for the Proteas as they endured a worst ever season. “I think if I was to rate myself at the moment especially over the last season I think I was only at about six and half (out of 10) to be honest. “I think I had too many starts and not converted enough. If I have to be honest I think six and half. I’d love to convert a lot of my starts into bigger runs so yeah that’s mainly about it.” Quinton de Kock has revealed why he was stood down as captain of the Test team and said the pressure that comes with the captaincy role in the longer format of the game was just too much for him to handle. “I think the reality is that it is just too much for me to handle and I know that‚ and I realised that‚” said De Kock after being voted as SA men’s cricketer of the year at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) virtual awards ceremony at the weekend. The 27-year-old took over the captaincy role from Faf du Plessis at the end of the disastrous Test series defeat against England in January. “When it comes to Test cricket I don’t need all that stress. I could see it from a mile away that I didn’t need that on top of my shoulders you know. We had a very informal chat with (team director) Mark Boucher‚ very informal I must tell you‚ and I was actually pretty pleased that it came up. I’m pretty happy with the way they went about it‚” said De Kock. CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith relieved De Kock of the Test captaincy in April in a bid to keep the star wicketkeeper batsman fresh‚ but he retained the stylish left-hander as captain of the limited-overs side.