A year ago this month, Kagiso Rabada made his one-day international (ODI) debut against Bangladesh, and he capped off a dizzying 12 months by becoming the first cricketer to scoop half a dozen Cricket SA awards last night.
The 21-year-old would make his Test debut against India in Mohali, less than four months later.
The fast bowler’s six accolades eclipsed the five won by Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers and in the process also became the youngest player to win the cricketer of the year award.
Rabada also collected the Test cricketer of the year, ODI cricketer of the year, delivery of the year, players’ player of the year and fans’ player of the year gongs.
While the national team had a forgettable 2015/16 season, it was an excellent debut season in international cricket for Rabada, who found himself spearheading the Proteas’ attack in the various injury-enforced absences of Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel and Vernon Philander.
While Rabada made his international bow against Australia in a Twenty20 in Adelaide in 2014, it was in his debut series against Bangladesh where his bowling ripple was felt worldwide.
His 6/16 in Mirpur remains the best return by a South African bowler on debut but also included the hat-trick that broke the spine of Bangladesh’s batting.
He played a key role in the 3-2 ODI series win against India, which subsequently earned him a Test debut against England in their end-of-year tour.
T20 Cricketer of the Year: Imran Tahir;
Newcomer of the Year: Stephen Cook;
KFC So Good Award: Temba Bavuma; and
Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Dane van Niekerk
Source: Times Live