Change of the guard in cricket

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

It appeared the "old guard" was making way for the new kids on the block when the winners in the Mutual and Federal South African Cricketer of the Year were announced on Monday.

This was after Gulam Bodi, Paul Harris, Justine Kemp, Charl Langeveldt and Morne van Wyk were announced as first-time winners at the launch of the 2007 Mutual and Federal South African Cricket Annual.

It was decided that five new names should be on this season's list.

In his address, Proteas captain Graeme Smith praised the achievers and said he hoped this would boost their confidence in their cricket careers.

His sentiments were echoed by five-time winner Makhaya Ntini, who said: "It is a good thing to see new blood being given recognition. It has been boring to see the same faces and hopefully this recognition will serve as a morale boost for the winners to do well in the national call-ups and domestic fixtures."

Smith paid tribute to the triumphant Springboks for their inspiring performance in the IRB World Cup.

"You made us so proud and we salute you. You have abundant talent and became the top rugby team in the World,'' said Smith.

Some of the dignitaries present at the function included Cricket South Africa president Norman Arendse, chief executive Gerald Majola and Keith Kennedy, managing director of the insurance company.