THE legend of Vernon Philander gathered speed when he was named South African cricketer of the year and test cricketer of the year by Cricket SA last night.
The Cobras fast bowler capped a remarkable debut year in test cricket as he also collected the fans’ award.
Philander picked up 51 wickets in his first seven test matches, the second fastest in the history of test cricket.
He made his debut in the home series against Australia last year and had an immediate impact with a man of the match performance, taking eight for 78.
This included a second-innings haul of five for 15, which helped the Proteas to a win at Newlands.
He got another five- for in his second test, which earned him the man of the series award.
His entrance into test cricket continued as he collected 16 wickets in two tests against Sri Lanka and then wrecked New Zealand in three away tests.
By being named SA cricketer of the year Philander, 26, joined the elite company of previous winners Jacques Kallis (twice), Makhaya Ntini (twice), Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla.
AB de Villiers was named one-day international cricketer of the year and South African players’ player of the year.
Richard Levi was handed the international T20 cricketer of the year award, as well as an award for his century against New Zealand, the fastest in T20 history.
Another special award went to Marchant de Lange, who took seven for 81 on his test match debut against Sri Lanka.
In local cricket the three main awards went to Dean Elgar (one-day player of the year), Farhaan Behardien (T20 player) and Alviro Petersen (first-class player).
Professional award winners:
SA newcomer of the year: Marchant de Lange. International T20 player of the year: Richard Levi. ODI player of the year: AB de Villiers. Test cricketer of the year: Vernon Philander. Players’ player of the year: AB de Villiers. Cricketer of the year: Vernon Philander.
One-day player of year: Dean Elgar. T20 player of year: Farhaan Behardien. First-class player of the year: Alviro Petersen. Fair play award: Dolphins. Coach of the year: Matthew Maynard. Newcomer of the year: Eddie Leie. Most valuable player: Morne van Wyk. Players’ player of the year: Faf du Plessis.