CHEVROLET Warriors allrounder Ayabulela Gqamane was last night named South Africa's Domestic Newcomer of the Year at Cricket South Africa's awards banquet in Johannesburg.
While Proteas superstar Hashim Amla walked away with the majority of the international awards, Gqamane was rewarded for the massive impact he made in his debut season in 2012-13 for the Warriors.
In another coup for Eastern Province cricket, Port Elizabeth's Marizanne Kapp was named the Women's Cricketer of the Year.
"For me, this is just the beginning of things to come," Gqamane said last night. "I am so proud of this award. It's always good to be recognised. I always aim high and strive to perform, so performance is no stranger to me."
Gqamane also took time to praise Warriors coach Piet Botha.
"Piet has played a big role in my success and he has managed me well this far. He is a great technician."
Short in stature but big of heart, Gqamane burst on to the domestic scene with some outstanding performances for the Warriors.
The 24-year-old fast bowler took 37 first-class wickets at an impressive average of 17.08 for the season.
He also played a major role in the limited overs teams. He claimed 12 A-list scalps at an even better average of 14.83 along with six T20 victims.
He took 11 wickets in his Sunfoil Series debut against the Lions and then made 86 with the bat and took 6/40 against the Titans.
His form last season saw him elevated to the South African A side which competed against India A last month.
Gqamane hails from Mdingi, the same Border village as Makhaya Ntini. The former Proteas fast bowler played an integral part in his development.
"I know him well and we have a good relationship," Gqamane said recently.
"I have known him since I was five and he has had a huge impact on my life. He has always been there to help me and especially when I first joined the Warriors."
Gqamane attended Hudson Park High School in East London and progressed to the Border under-19 team and then the Border provincial side, where Botha spotted him playing against EP in a match at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Kapp, a dynamic allrounder who opens the bowling and bats in the top order, has been an integral part of the provincial team and is also a member of the EP Academy.
She has also played 27 ODIs and 15 T20s for South Africa.
She made 102 not out for South Africa against Pakistan at the Women's World Cup in Cuttack, India, in February and also took three wickets in the same match.
"It's a great honour being here at this event and an honour winning this award. Functions like this can do a lot for women's cricket going forward," Kapp said last night.