The former St Stithians Boys’ College pupil won six accolades in total – South African Cricketer of the Year, Castle Lager Test Cricketer of the Year, Castle Lager ODI Cricketer of the Year, SA Players’ Player of the Year and SA Fans Player of the Year. His sixth award was for bowling the RAM Delivery of the Year to England’s Jason Roy in the KFC T20 International at The Wanderers Stadium.
“I have to thank my family because they’ve been unbelievable for me,” the young fast bowler said.
“They’re the ones that shaped me to be the person I am today and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am – I have no doubt about it,” he said.
The 21-year-old first rose to stardom in the 2014 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup where he claimed figures of 6/25 against Australia in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
In February last year, Rabada took a record 14 wickets in a match for the Highveld Lions against the Dolphins which included 9/33 in the second innings. His 14/105 are the best figures in the franchise era of South African cricket.
Rabada is the first player to win six individual awards – AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla had previously won five – and is by far the youngest to have won South African cricket’s premier accolade: South African Cricketer of the Year.
Rabada’s international statistics are extremely impressive. Apart from taking 24 wickets in only six Test matches at an average of 24.70 with a strike rate of 39.6, he has taken 37 wickets in 20 ODIs at an average of 21.45 with an economy rate of 4.78 and a strike rate of 26.9. He has also bagged 21 wickets in 13 T20s.
He admitted that expectations of him would be high for the new season, but vowed to give his best to make his country the best once more. “There’s going to be a lot more expectations, obviously, so I’ll have to find a way to deal with it,” Rabada added.
“It will be another challenge because not everything is on the cricket field, you have to overcome things, overcome fears as well.”
– Caxton News Service