The cream of the crop of SA cricket in annual

2014-10-08 00:00

OCTOBER heralds the appearance of the SA Cricket Annual, a much sought after publication by those who hold the game in this country close to their heart.

This year’s edition of 688 pages covers all the matches and competitions — domestic and international — from last season, with detailed scorecards, plus there is the usual package of comment, editor’s notes and statistics.

This year, Gary Kirsten pays tribute to Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, two South African giants of the game who retired last season.

These articles are accompanied by a detailed statistical analysis of both players, while editor Colin Bryden gives full coverage of what led to the reshaping of the ICC with the “Big Three” — England, Australia and India — taking control.

But perhaps the highlight is the five cricketers of the year, always guaranteed to cause debate wherever the state of the South African game is discussed.

This year’s selections give a clear indication of the younger players stepping up to the mark and, when reflecting on last season, it’s no surprise that Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Stiaan van Zyl, Heino Kuhn and Justin Ontong get the nod.

De Kock picks himself after his incredible run in the Protea ODI team saw him knock off three successive hundreds against India.

He hit five ODI hundreds last season and established himself in the Protea side in all formats, including making his Test debut against Australia in Port Elizabeth in February.

Miller was superb in guiding the Dolphins to the Ram Slam T20 title, his innings of 93* from 37 balls in the semi-final against the Titans at Kingsmead regarded as one of the finest displays of hitting a cricket ball ever seen. He has become a regular in the Protea ODI and T20 sides, with Test cricket still his ultimate goal.

Van Zyl was a player of consistency in the Cobras batting line-up, showing his class in the four-day game, where he finished as the leading run scorer with 933 runs from 17 innings at 58,31, including three centuries and four fifties. He must surely be a strong candidate to step up to higher honours sooner rather than later.

Kuhn was the leading run scorer in the One-Day Cup competition, scoring 470 runs in 11 innings at 47,00, including two hundreds and two fifties.

He came good at the right time, getting the Titans through to the final against the Cobras that, as had happened the previous season between the Lions and the Cobras, was washed out with the trophy shared.

Ontong, who seems to have been around for many a season, showed his pedigree in a consistent season for the Cobras.

They retained the Four-Day Series trophy, and reached the final of the One-Day and T20 competitions. Ontong’s captaincy of the Cobras was a strong factor in his selection.

The annual is available at

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