Cape Town - Kagiso Rabada says he owes his meteoric rise to those
closest to him after sweeping the board in record fashion at the Cricket South
Africa (CSA) awards banquet in Sandton on Tuesday evening.
The 21-year-old won six accolades in total – the main prize
of South African Cricketer of the Year, Castle Lager Test Cricketer of the
Year, Castle Lager ODI Cricketer of the Year, SA Players’ Player of the Year,
SA Fans Player of the Year and bowling the RAM delivery of the Year to
England’s Jason Roy in the KFC T20 International at the Bidvest Wanderers
“I have to thank my family because they’ve been unbelievable
for me,” the young fast bowler said. “They’re the ones that shaped me to be the
person I am today and without them I wouldn’t be where I am. I have no doubt
“My friends, the ones that have been there for me and they
know who they are, friends that are there for the right reasons and friends
that I will definitely be lifetime friends with, I am grateful for their
“To my team-mates as well, the culture’s really good in the
team. They’ve welcomed me so well and that has allowed me to really let loose.
That’s very encouraging because it’s not all on you.
“There’s so many coaches that have really helped me and
thank you to them as well.”
Rabada is the first player to win six individual awards –
both AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla had previously won five – and is by far the
youngest to have won South African cricket’s premier accolade.
The other eight players to have received CSA’s most
prestigious Player of the Year award are Jacques Kallis (2004 and 2011),
Makhaya Ntini (2005 and 2006), Hashim Amla (2010 and 2013) and AB de Villiers
(2014 and 2015) who have all won the award twice with the other previous
winners being Shaun Pollock (2007), Dale Steyn (2008), Graeme Smith (2009), and
Vernon Philander (2012).
Rabada said he hoped to inspire others to follow in his
He continued: “When I was young, the players I am currently
playing with now inspired me to do the things I am doing today. A lot of people
have done so many great things and when that happens, it has the power to
“I definitely think that whoever looks up to me will feel
Despite being the star of the show at the Sandton Convention
Centre, Rabada remained humble in all the glory.
“I don’t know (how I stay humble), I think it’s who I am,”
he explained. “I feel there’s more to life than cricket, although cricket is a
passion of mine.
“It’s just a whole lot of role models as well, people that
have done great things and are well respected. They are quite reserved and have
still done very well too. But I think I’ve always been like this, maybe it’s
the way I was brought up, but it’s just the way I am.”
Rabada’s international statistics are extremely impressive.
Apart from taking 24 wickets in only 6 Test matches at an average of 24.70 with
a strike rate of 39.6, he took 37 wickets in 20 ODIs at an average of 21.45
with an economy rate of 4.78 and a strike rate of 26.9. He also took 21 wickets
in 13 T20Is.
He admitted that expectations will be high for the new
season, but vowed to give his best to make his country the best once more.
“There’s going to be a lot more expectations obviously, so
I’ll have to find a way to deal with it,” Rabada added. “It will be another
challenge because not everything is on the cricket field…you have to overcome
things, overcome fears as well.
“But I see it as a challenge and I'm going to try and do my
best on the field and keep things simple, I can’t control whether I get wickets
or not, hopefully the performances will come.”