Jonathan Bird wins top award at CSA Amateur Awards

Jonathan Bird
Jonathan Bird
Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa (CSA) hosted its annual CSA Amateur Awards on Friday. The event was held in honour of the stars of tomorrow and those that work tirelessly behind the scenes to help develop the game.

In what was a first for CSA and KFC, the gala event, traditionally held as a Breakfast Awards ceremony on the day of the main awards, instead took place 24 hours earlier and was beamed across digital media platforms due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Amateur Awards celebrate the accomplishments of the steadfastly growing talent in the country as CSA continues to drive its vision of making cricket a truly national sport of winners.

"What an honour it is for us to recognise our everyday heroes, who through the game of cricket continue to contribute to unity and hope in our country," said Dhruv Kaul, Chief Marketing Officer of KFC South Africa.

"A special congratulations to our KFC Mini-Cricket Coach and Coordinators of the Year; Ruth Bowles, Julius Maziya and Mercia Baatjies respectively.

"Our coaches and coordinators continue to model true leadership, dedication and passion through their engagement with kids at this critical foundation step in the development of South Africa’s future cricketing heroes. As we look forward to reaching even more kids through the programme, we encourage our coaches and coordinators to continue to change lives and enrich those they encounter through their love of the game." 

Some of the big winners at the awards were South Africa junior star, Jonathan Bird, who was named the national Under-19 Cricketer of the Year after an exceptional season with the bat, while his international team-mate Luke Beaufort claimed the Khaya Majola U19 Cricket Week Player of the Tournament award.

Proteas batter Tazmin Britz continued to underline her growing stature in the local game by proving to be a run machine for North West, earning herself the CSA Provincial Women's Cricketer of the Year accolade in the process.

Another big winner was Ruan de Swardt of Northerns, who walked away with the Student Cricketer of the Year prize for his outstanding all-round efforts with both bat and ball.

The Regional Performance Centres and Hubs stationed across South Africa continue to produce young, budding talent. Some players have even earned selection for their respective provincial teams and took part in the Momentum National Weeks last year.

"Congratulations to all our Amateur Award winners," commented CSA Acting Chief Executive, Jacques Faul. "These young men and women keep the spirit of our amateur game so strong.

"We can be very happy with the strength of our various development programmes that play a vital part in our talent identification pipeline. It is worth recording that Janneman Malan, Wiaan Mulder, Heinrich Klaasen and Lungi Ngidi were all award winners in the last few years. That gives these young winners the opportunity to think big."

- Cricket South Africa

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