De Kock, Ngidi, Kapp and Wolvaardt headline CSA awards nominees list
We might be in lockdown, but the competition will be as tough as ever in the upcoming Cricket South Africa awards.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced the nominees for its annual awards ceremony, which will take place virtually on 4 July 2020.
Proteas men seamer Lungi Ngidi is nominated in five categories, while limited overs captain Quinton de Kock has been nominated in six categories. On the women’s side, all-rounder Marizanne Kapp and batsman Laura Wolvaardt have both won nominations in four categories.
De Kock and Ngidi have both been nominated in the following three categories: SA Men’s Cricketer of the Year, ODI Cricketer of the Year, and T20 Cricketer of the Year. In addition, De Kock has been nominated Test Cricketer of the Year along with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje as well as for the SA Men’s Players’ Players award, while Ngidi has been nominated for the KFC Streetwise Award.
Both the pacer and his skipper have had magnificent summers, and one of them could easily win SA Fans’ Cricketer of the Year, although they face stiff competition from the likes of Kapp and serial fan favourite, Rabada.
Ngidi will no doubt be pleased by this nod of acknowledgement after a very productive summer, which came in the aftermath of yet another injury layoff.
The seamer has had a tough time since making his international debut in 2017, with problems ranging from hip to abdominal and side strains to knee niggles.
However, he took 25 wickets in 10 limited over matches for the Proteas in the summer, including career-best figures of 6/58 in his last encounter against Australia earlier this year.
“I’d say the road back to cricket wasn’t as bad as people think. I’m not shy to work hard, so it wasn’t an unfamiliar area for me and to be honest, I didn’t feel as though I was down and out,” said Ngidi in a recent interview with CSA Media.
Initially accused of being rusty following his return, Ngidi shook off that criticism to blossom for the Proteas.
“I think I’ve always been pretty strong mentally, so I didn’t have any issues there,” he continued. “People always have opinions and will always speak but that doesn’t mean it’s always right. The only thing I could do is just focus on the work that I had to do and I seem to have reaped the benefits.”
His captain has also had a great time of it this summer, although he has been one of South Africa’s most consistent performers over the last few years, and bagged Test Cricketer of The Year at the CSA 2019 awards.
De Kock is one of the vital cogs in the Proteas squad, and has often stepped up to flourish when his teammates have struggled. So he was the natural replacement when Faf du Plessis opted to step down as captain of the side.
In the role, the limited overs skipper has flourished. However, the perfectionist that he is, he was recently quoted on CSA’s website saying that he feels he could do even better for the team.
“I think I played decently. There was a time when I was starting to get grumpy when I wasn’t converting all my starts into big scores during the Test matches against England. I still want to get better and obviously start scoring big hundreds for the team,” said De Kock.
Other Proteas men’s players nominated in the various categories are Temba Bavuma (T20 Cricketer of the Year), Heinrich Klaasen (ODI Cricketer of the Year) and David Miller (SA Men’s Players’ Player of the Year).
In the women’s section, Kapp and Wolvaardt have both been nominated for Proteas Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year and for the Proteas Players’ Player of the year.
Wolvaardt, who was one of the stars for the Proteas during their T20 Women’s World Cup campaign, has also been nominated for Proteas Cricketer of the Year and for the KFC Streetwise award.
The other contenders for the supreme women’s accolade of SA Women’s Cricketer of the Year are Shabnim Ismail and Lizelle Lee, who have both also been nominated for Momentum Proteas T20 Cricketer of the Year along with newcomer Nadine de Klerk. Quickie, Ayabonga Khaka has been nominated for Momentum Proteas ODI Player of the Year.
Kapp, on the other hand, has an additional nomination for the RAM Delivery of the Year alongside Nortje – who made his international debut this past season – as well as the recently retired Vernon Philander.
“It is my great pleasure and privilege to congratulate all the nominees as we celebrate the achievements of both our Proteas men’s and women’s squads,” commented CSA acting chief executive, Jacques Faul. “And, while we are doing that, 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.”
The judging panel for the awards consists of Jeremy Fredericks (convener), Crystal Arnold, Makhaya Ntini, Clinton du Preez, Lungani Zama and Natalie Germanos, with statistical input by Andrew Samson.
Proteas fans can also have their say in the awards. The SA Fans’ Cricketer of the Year requires fans to vote for this award. Further details of how the voting mechanism works will be communicated on CSA’s social media platforms. DM