Faf du Plessis deserves top prize at CSA awards – as an apology

Captain Faf du Plessis faces an uncertain future as skipper.
Captain Faf du Plessis faces an uncertain future as skipper.

The most noteworthy fact about the Cricket South Africa Awards in Pretoria on Saturday is that they are being staged.

What is there to celebrate about a team freshly back from their worst ever performance in a men’s World Cup?

And about administrators who seem adept at little except bleeding money‚ losing sponsors and alienating the players?

But‚ as with guests of the Hotel California‚ once a sport has checked into marketing myth-making‚ there would seem to be no checking out.

So the usual suspects will be lined up to be garlanded‚ a good time will be had by all‚ and never mind reality.

Dané van Niekerk‚ Marizanne Kapp and Kagiso Rabada have been nominated four times each.

One of Faf du Plessis’ three nominations is for the highest men’s honour on offer‚ the “SA Cricketer of the Year”.

He should win it‚ if only as a personal apology and consolation for how his team played at the World Cup despite his leadership and performance.

Du Plessis was the only South African to score a century at the tournament‚ and he led his team in runs and balls faced.

At least South Africa’s women’s players have an excuse for a party‚ having won five of the nine one-day internationals — tying another and having one washed out — and 10 of the 16 T20s they have played since the start of August last year.

Or do they? They won only two of their four games in the World T20 in the Caribbean in November‚ and crashed out in the first round.

But they were unbeaten in their three bilateral ODI series‚ two of them drawn‚ and won two of three T20s rubbers.

The men‚ too‚ don’t seem to have done that badly‚ having won 28 of the 44 matches they played — and lost 14 — across all formats.

Of 10 bilateral series they lost only one‚ but it hurt: Sri Lanka’s 2-0 triumph in February made them the first Asian team to win a Test series in South Africa.

Then came the wretchedness of a World Cup in which only three of eight completed games were won‚ not least because most of South Africa’s major players relegated themselves to minor roles.

And that with legal action taken by the players against the suits over a proposed domestic restructure rumbling in the background like thunder stalking the Wanderers.

All of which will no doubt be swept aside on Saturday as the tip of the iceberg of South African cricket gathers to celebrate … what‚ exactly?

Selected award nominations:


T20 International Cricketer of the Year:

Shabnim Ismail‚ Marizanne Kapp‚ Dané van Niekerk.

ODI Cricketer of the Year:

Marizanne Kapp‚ Lizelle Lee‚ Dané van Niekerk‚ Laura Wolvaardt.

Players’ Player of the Year:

Marizanne Kapp‚ Lizelle Lee‚ Dané van Niekerk.

Cricketer of the year:

Marizanne Kapp‚ Lizelle Lee‚ Dané van Niekerk.


T20 International Cricketer of the Year:

Reeza Hendricks‚ David Miller‚ Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Rassie van der Dussen.

ODI Cricketer of the Year:

Faf du Plessis‚ Imran Tahir‚ Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Kagiso Rabada‚ Rassie van der Dussen.

Test Cricketer of the Year:

Quinton de Kock‚ Faf du Plessis‚ Keshav Maharaj‚ Kagiso Rabada‚ Dale Steyn.

Cricketer of the year:

Quinton de Kock‚ Faf du Plessis‚ Imran Tahir‚ Kagiso Rabada.

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