15 Aug KHAKA AND MAHARAJ REVEL IN AWARDS
JOHANNESBURG – Ayabonga Khaka and Keshav Maharaj are proud to be named the SA Player of the Year in their respective categories following the virtual Cricket South Africa (CSA) Awards ceremony on Sunday night. Both players were also recipients of the Players’ Player of the Year Award.
Khaka was rewarded for a stellar season with the ball after taking a total of 31 wickets in all formats with her fast-medium pace as a key part of a four-pronged bowling attack for the Proteas Women in a year where the team played in 18 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 internationals (T20I).
The 30-year-old began her campaign with a dominant nine-wicket display away to the West Indies in September last year, with South Africa victorious in both ODI and T20I series.
In the reverse tour hosted in Johannesburg in early 2022, Khaka took her game to new heights with a maiden career five-wicket haul before ending with a series-leading 10 wickets as the home side clinched the four-match battle.
The right-armer then took her sublime form into the team’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup opener against Bangladesh in New Zealand as Khaka became only the fifth South African women to take 100 ODI wickets.
South Africa finished a riveting World Cup campaign at the semi-final stage, with Khaka taking 12 scalps to finish sixth on the wicket-taker’s list as the Proteas ended the tournament with a record five wins in a single competition.
Khaka commented: “I am humbled and honoured to be named the Player of the Year. Especially when everyone had a great season. It means a lot to me because this (Player’s Player of the Year) is an award that comes from my colleagues. I want to thank them very much for recognizing my contribution to our team.”
“Thanks goes to all my coaches and their efforts to help me continue raising my game. Their work doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you to my family for the support they give me, no matter what. I also want to thank my teammates for the support they have given me, my contribution wouldn’t have been highlighted if it weren’t for them. I want to say thank you to all the cricket fans for their support. I ask them to continue even tomorrow and never stop.”
In the last 12 months, Maharaj cemented his status as an all-format player, having featured across 13 ODIs, eight T20Is and as many Test matches, racking up a haul of 51 wickets along the way.
The 32-year-old enjoyed a unique set of circumstances, making both his T20I and captaincy debut in the same match against Sri Lanka. Impressively, he claimed his maiden T20I wicket off his very first ball. He also featured in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE.
In the Test arena, one of his most memorable moments came the start of the season, when he became the second South African bowler and first spinner to claim a hat-trick following the consecutive dismissals of Kieran Powell, Jason Holder, and Joshua Da Silva in the second match against the West Indies at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
He then went on to wrap up the season with standout figures of 7-32 in the first Test against Bangladesh at his home ground, the Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.
Maharaj added: “Wow, when I heard about it, I almost broke down in tears. It’s probably one of the most humbling but highest moments in my career. I mean you dream of playing for South Africa, never think you’ll quite get there and then you get the opportunity to be named the South African Men’s Cricketer of the Year, it is very special.”
“I am really honored and privileged to receive this award and I hope I can continue from strength to strength and keep raising the bar and help the team most importantly get to number one in all formats of the game and hopefully win our first World Cup.”
Audio featuring Momentum Proteas’ Ayabonga Khaka can be located here.
Audio and video featuring Proteas’ Keshav Maharaj can be located here.
Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications
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Cricket South Africa (CSA), an affiliate of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is the national governing body for the sport of cricket in South Africa and administers all aspects of South African cricket, men, and women, both in the professional and amateur spheres