De Villiers rakes in four CSA awards
AB de Villiers missed out on being appointed South Africa's Test captain but received some consolation by scooping four awards at CSA's annual prize-giving on Wednesday. De Villiers was named cricketer of the year, Test cricketer of the year, players' player and fans' player of the year, ahead of new Test captain Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis.
The only award de Villiers was nominated for which he did not win was the ODI cricketer of the year, which went to Quinton de Kock, who matched a record of de Villiers' to take the title. Although de Villiers was the leading run-scorer for South Africa in the 2013-14 season, de Kock scored 609 runs at an average of 67.66, with four centuries of which three were in successive matches against India. De Villiers and Herschelle Gibbs are the only other South Africans to have achieved that feat, alongside Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar.
De Villiers' numbers were enough to earn him every other major award on the night. He was South Africa's stand-out Test performer across the series against India and Australia, scoring 804 runs at 67.00 with three hundreds, including a match-saving one against India at Wanderers, and remains the No.1 ranked Test batsman. Combined with his wicketkeeping in the longest format and captaining in ODIs, de Villiers' popularity has soared among his compatriots and countrymen and his list of awards attested to that.
Imran Tahir was recognised for his contributions in the T20 format, where he took 18 wickets in nine matches at an average of 11.00. The legspinner was the joint leading wicket-taker at the 2014 World T20, in which South Africa were knocked out in the semifinal. Individual awards were given to Jacques Kallis for his century in his final Test against India, and Dale Steyn for the inswinger that beat Brad Haddin and flattened his middle stump in the second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth in March.
At domestic level, Cobras captain Justin Ontong was named first-class cricketer of the year. He finished second on the run-scorers' list, five behind team-mate Stiaan van Zyl, and led the Cobras to the title. Titans' opener Heino Kuhn was the one-day cup player of the season after topping the batting with 470 runs in 11 matches at 47.00, including two hundreds. Dolphins middle-order batsman David Miller was named twenty-over player of the season. Miller scored 383 runs in 12 matches with a high score of 93 not out and a strike rate of 153.2 in a tournament Dolphins won.
The Durban-based franchise dominated the rest of the awards. They won the fair play award and their coach, Lance Klusener, was named coach of the year for overseeing their first non-shared trophy in over a decade. They previously shared the first-class title on two occasions. Kyle Abbott, who was third on the one-day cup wicket list and second on the twenty-over charts, was named domestic players' player of the year and the South African Cricketers Associations' most valuable player.
The Kingsmead groundsman, Wilson Ngobese was awarded groundsman of the year. South Africa won a Test in Durban for the time in five seasons against India in December, after losing there to Australia, India and Sri Lanka between 2009 and 2013.