Linde tops off prolific season with 3 Cape Cobras awards

George Linde (Gallo)
George Linde (Gallo)

Allrounder George Linde rounded off his season of personal success by adding three more awards at the Cape Cobras end of season awards on Thursday.

Whilst there was no official function due to the country-wide lockdown, the Awards signal the official end to the 2019/2020 season which was curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fast bowler Thando Ntini was awarded the Young Player of the Year.

Ntini was called up to coach Ashwell Prince's squad from the Western Province team prior to the third round of the 4 Day Series and never looked back as he went on to play in 9 of the Cobras' 10 One Day Cup matches and was the top wicket-taker for the franchise in the tournament with 14 wickets at an average of 28.28 and an economy rate of 5.53.

Zubayr Hamza was awarded the ONE DAY CUP Player of the Year after he showed sublime form and character throughout the tournament which included two centuries and three half centuries as well as taking on the captaincy reigns during a disappointing tournament for his side.

Hamza finished the competition with 582 runs from 10 innings at an average of 58.2 and included a career-best innings of 156 for good measure.

Linde was awarded the CSA 4-Day series Player of the Year in a campaign where he took 30 wickets at an average of just 20.96, including two 10-wicket match hauls in just 6 matches.

His best innings haul was 7/64 with a best match-haul of 11/131 against the Dolphins in Oudtshoorn. He underlined his value as one of the country’s best allrounders with 345 runs, including 2 centuries at an average of 49.28.

Linde, who was recently named as the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) MVP, also earned the Players' player of the Year award after he earned the most votes from his peers for his overall contributions to the team during the past season.

To put the icing on the cake of success throughout the season, Linde was named as the Cape Cobras Player of the Year.

Head coach Ashwell Prince congratulated all the Award winners: "Whilst it was a disappointing season for the team, we have quite a few individual highlights to celebrate.

"Zubayr Hamza was absolutely sensational during the Momentum One Day Cup, scoring 582 runs at a strike rate of 97 dispelling any claims that he might only be a long format player.

"In the same competition young Thando Ntini brought a lot of energy and effervescence, which is synonymous with the Ntini name and bowled beautifully in his maiden Momentum One Day Cup campaign. We wish him everything of the best on his new journey.

"Then George Linde, our Player of the Year. With two 10 wicket hauls and 2 Franchise 100’s in 4 Day Cricket, he earned a well-deserved Test debut and call up to the ODI squad for the India tour.

"George is starting to have real belief in his ability, and this is showing in these colossal performances for the Cobras.

"Congratulations to all our Award winners," he concluded.

Despite the Cape Cobras experiencing a trophy-less season in both domestic competitions, Western Cape Cricket Chairman Nic Kock expressed pride in the amount of Cobras players who took the step up to international level during this past season as well as in the affiliates who continue to produce young talent for the franchise team.

"George (Linde) made his Test debut in India and was called up to both T20 and ODI squads of the Proteas during the 2019/2020 season.

"Janneman (Malan) and debutant Kyle (Verreynne) made telling contributions in their ODI appearances on home soil during the successful series against Australia.

"Both Dane Paterson and Pieter (Malan) deservedly earned their first Test caps against England with Pieter showing extreme grit in the epic New Year's Test at Newlands.

"There was also a return to Test cricket for Dane Piedt (India) and Zubayr Hamza (England).

"Zubayr showed great character when he was dropped from the Test team. He re-joined the WSB Cape Cobras in the new role of captain for the Momentum One Day Cup and proceeded to finish as the 2nd top run scorer in the competition.

"This meant he ended up as the top run getter for the Cobras that ultimately earned him the MODC Player of the Season for the franchise.

"On a local front, it was very comforting to see our affiliates WP, SWD and Boland producing exciting young players for our Franchise.

"We remain grateful to our loyal fans and our commercial partners whose support has transformed the WSB Cape Cobras into the biggest brand on the domestic scene."

Outgoing Western Cape Cricket CEO Nabeal Dien outlined his wish for the franchise as he concludes his tenure at the end of April.

"Whilst it is crucial to celebrate the individual successes of our players, we now have to get the formula right to start winning competitions again.

"On a personal note, I find it a fitting farewell to be leaving the franchise as some of the players who I have seen come through from Under 12 level – the likes of Vernon Philander, JP Duminy, Rory Kleinveldt, Hashim Amla - finish their careers at the same time as I do.

"As I leave my post, I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved on my journey and I wish the franchise and our affiliates only success in the future."

Cape Cobras Award winners:

Young Player of the Year: Thando Ntini

CSA 4 Day Series Player of the Year: George Linde

Momentum One Day Cup Player of the Year: Zubayr Hamza

Players' Player of the Year: George Linde

Player of the Year: George Linde

- TEAMtalk media

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