FAF DU PLESSIS and Dane van Niekerk were recognised in the company of the country’s cricketing elite when they were named South African Cricketer of the Year in their respective categories at a glittering Cricket South Africa (CSA) awards function in Pretoria on Saturday evening. It was a first for the Standard Bank Proteas captain and a remarkable display of consistency at the top level by Van Niekerk who has won the award for three of the last four years. She was also honoured by her peers in being named SA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year. The other 10 players to have received CSA’s most prestigious men’s award are 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) who have all won the award twice with the other previous winners being Shaun Pollock (2007), Dale Steyn (2008), Graeme Smith (2009), Vernon Philander (2012) and Quinton de Kock (2017). Du Plessis was the leading award winner on the night, also being named Standard Bank ODI Cricketer of the Year as well as being honoured by his peers in being named SA Players’ Player of the Year. The other men’s awards were shared around. De Kock was named Standard Bank Test Cricketer of the Year and David Miller as Standard Bank T20 International Cricketer of the Year while Rabada was honoured by the fans on being named SA Fans Player of the Year. The CSA Delivery of the Year went to Vernon Philander for his dismissal of Azhar Ali of Pakistan in the 3rd Castle Lager Test match. Dale Steyn was honoured with the KFC Streetwise Award for his achievement in becoming South Africa’s leading Test match wicket-taker and one of the top 10 on the all-time list. The International Newcomer of the Year award went to Rassie van der Dussen who had the outstanding average of 73 and strike rate of 81 in ODIs and a strike rate of 133 in T20 Internationals in his debut season. These figures included an average of 62 and a strike rate of 90 in his maiden appearance at the ICC Cricket World Cup. The other top awards in the women’s category went to Marizanne Kapp who was named ODI Player of the Year and Shabnim Ismail who was named T20 International Player of the Year. Tumi Sekhukhune was named International Women’s Newcomer of the Year.Dane Piedt of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and Bjorn Fortuin of the bizhub Highveld Lions were the big winners in the Professional Awards: Domestic category, both bagging two awards. Piedt was named Four-day Franchise Series Cricketer of the Year and also won the SACA Most Valuable Player award. Fortuin was named CSA T20 Challenge Player of the Year as well as Domestic Players’ Player of the season. The Lions had further success with Enoch Nkwe being named Pitchvision Coach of the Season. Junior Dala of the Multiply Titans was named Momentum One-day Cup Cricketer of the Season while Sinethemba Qeshile of the Warriors was named Domestic Newcomer of the Year. The inaugural Mzansi Super League awards went to Van der Dussen of the Jozi Stars as Mzansi Super League Impact Player of the Year and to Lutho Sipamla of the Tshwane Spartans as Mzansi Super League Young Player of the Year. Shaun George was named CSA Umpire of the Year for the third year in a row and the CSA Umpires’ Umpire of the Year went to Bongani Jele. The Africa Cup T20 Player of the tournament went to Marco Marais of Border.