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Vernon Philander Wins SA Cricketer of the Year

After a record-breaking season in which he captured 51 wickets in his first seven test matches, Vernon Philander was the big winner at the Cricket South Africa awards gala in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.

The Cape Cobras’ seamer lifted the prestigious South African Cricketer of the Year Award, and also received awards as Test Cricketer of the Year and the Fans’ Cricketer of the Year.

Only Australia’s Charlie Turner reached 50 test wickets faster than Philander, but he played way back in 1888, in a time when scores were far lower and bowlers far more favored by pitches than they are today.

Despite playing just those seven tests, he ranks seventh in International Cricket Council’s test bowling rankings. His test average is a miserly 14.15.

ODI Player of the Year

AB de Villiers was named ODI Player of the Year for the second time in succession after tallying 475 runs in eight games, including two centuries, at an astonishing average of 158.33 and a strike rate of 116.13.

He also picked up an award decided upon by his peers when he was announced as the Players’ Player of the Year.

Richard Levi won the CSA International T20 Cricketer of the Year and the KFC “So Good” awards, thanks to his stunning innings against New Zealand in Hamilton in February in which he struck a world-record equaling 117 not out. His runs came off only 51 balls, with a world record 13 sixes and five fours.

Fast bowler Marchant de Lange, who captured 7 for 81 against Sri Lanka in Durban on his test debut, was named the Newcomer of the Year.

Domestic awards winners

The SuperSport Series Cricketer of the Year award went the way of Alviro Petersen, who played his way into the Proteas’ test line-up, while Faf du Plessis was named the Domestic Players’ Player of the Year.

Matthew Maynard of the Titans was named Coach of the Year after leading the franchise to victory in the SuperSport Series and Twenty20 competitions.

Earlier in the day, Shandre Fritz was named the Women’s Cricketer of the Year.

Ewie Cronje, the father of the late Hansie Cronje, received a special lifetime achievement award for his years of service to Free State cricket. Under Cronje’s guidance, the province became a leading cricketing power in the country after having been mired in B-division cricket for decades.

World rankings

A quick check on the health of South African cricket by looking at the latest ICC Player Rankings indicates that the country’s cricketers are doing very well.

Among test batsmen, De Villiers ranks second, just ahead of Jacques Kallis, with Hashim Amla in ninth place.

Dale Steyn enjoys a healthy lead among test bowlers, with Philander in seventh spot.

Amla and De Villiers are ranked one and two among ODI batsmen, while Lonwabo Tsotsobe is in first place among ODI bowlers, with Morne Morkel in third position.

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