Heino Kuhn wins big at Titans' awards
Titans' opening batsman Heino Kuhn swept his franchise's awards ceremony as he claimed the franchise's player of the year, first-class player of the year and players' player titles.
Kuhn, who has played for the team for a decade, is currently top of the season's first-class run charts with 999 and a match to play. Barring a pair in the final fixture in Paarl, he will become the sixth South Africa to rack up more than 1,000 runs in a season, joining Barry Richards, Zander de Bruyn, Rilee Rossouw, Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook on an elite list.
At 32, Kuhn still harbours hope his numbers will earn him a national call-up, especially on the evidence of this summer. Cook, who is a year older than Kuhn, was rewarded with a Test debut after seasons of run-scoring on the domestic circuit.
"Heino is one of the most decorated players for the Titans because he has won so many Man-of-the-Match-awards, and even received national accolades. His longevity is a hallmark of his career," Titans' CEO Jacques Faul said. "His attitude throughout the seasons, even when he was on the substitute bench, encapsulates the Titans family spirit. He doesn't let you down, and he gives 110%."
The other big winner on the night was Titans' limited-overs' captain Albie Morkel, who was named T20 player of the year. Morkel led from the front in the franchise's successful campaign with 10 wickets at 13.30 and 198 runs at 39.60. Titans won eight matches in succession in the league phase to qualify directly for the final, which they won. Morkel edged South African opener Quinton de Kock, who was the top-scorer in the T20 competition with 437 runs at 39.72.
"Albie, like Heino, has been one of our long-serving stewards and he set standards of leadership and all-rounder's excellence which has made us all proud. This season's T20 campaign was a vindication of his exemplary style of captaincy," Faul said. "We trust we can call on Albie for another season in which he will showcase his three-in-one blue-chip qualities as leader, fast bowler and hard-hitting middle-order champion."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent