JOHANNESBURG: Rising cricketer Kagiso Rabada has been named the 'Newcomer of the Year' at South Africa's annual Sports Awards.
Rabada, a pacer bowler, has shown his mettle in the ongoing tour of India after making his debut for the Proteas at the tender age of 19 last year.
His ODI debut came against Bangladesh at Mirpur where his figures of 6/16 were the world's best ever by a debutant and the best ever for the Proteas, beating Makhaya Ntini's 6/22 against Australia.
Rabada was also only the second player to take a hat-trick on debut.
He has since made his Test debut and has thus represented the Proteas in all three formats by the age of 20.
"It is really heartening to see our significant investment in development (of previously disadvantaged Black players) producing winners. In particular, Kagiso Rabada is a standout talent and destined for greatness," said Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
"The success of our programmes is also reflected in the fact that we had several other finalist nominees including our World No. 1 Proteas Test team, the world's best batsman, AB de Villiers, for the SA Sports Star of the Year, Shabnim Ismail in the SA Women's Sports Star of the Year award, and Geoffrey Toyana as SA Coach of the Year.
Former Cricket South Africa selection panel chairman Rushdie Magiet was one of four recipients of the inaugural Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achiever award.
Tshwete was the Minister of Sport in the first democratic government led by Nelson Mandela.
"I know Rushdie Magiet personally and he has indeed given a lifetime of service not only to cricket but also to social responsibility. We are delighted that he has received this well merited award," Lorgat said.