Philander humbled by award
Cape Town - Vernon Philander
has described it as a huge honour after being named Sportsman of the Year at the annual SA Sports Awards on Sunday.
The reigning SA Cricketer of the Year was rewarded for his stellar debut season for the Castle Lager Proteas, where he has picked up 63 wickets at a remarkable average of 15.96 in only 10 Test matches.
Philander said: “Receiving this award is a proud moment for me. It hasn’t really sunk in, I received all the messages and mails in the middle of the night because of the time difference, so at the moment I’m trying to process it all.
“I’ve had a pretty special 12 months, it’s almost been a dream. My debut against Australia at Sahara Park Newlands was an amazing start to my career, but I never thought that the year would unfold the way it has. There have been some special memories out on the pitch; being one of the fastest to 50 wickets, my two 10-fors but the one that stands out would be the Lord’s Test match and regaining the No 1 Test ranking.
Philander outshone Olympic swimming duo, Chad Le Clos
and Cameron van der Burg, team-mate Hashim Amla
and former Bafana Bafana striker, Siyabonga Nomvete
in the hotly contested category.
“It’s even more special when you look at the calibre of sportsmen that were in the category, they have all had a great year in their respective fields. I was also up against Hashim (Amla), and we all know what an unbelievable season he has had, so this is quite special,” Philander added.
The Proteas arrived in Brisbane on Monday, where they will begin preparations for the first Vodafone Test match starting at the Gabba on Friday. Philander was satisfied with the preparation from the three-day warm-up match against Australia A this past weekend, and is raring to go ahead of the series opener.
“We’ve had a great week of preparation in Sydney and we’re looking to step up the intensity ahead of Friday’s match,” he said.