It was not surprising when he swept all that was on offer and even broke a record at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) awards that were held in Sandton recently.
Rabada hit the record books when he was named South African Cricketer of the Year and in all received a total of six awards at the awards banquet.
He became the first player to win six individual awards and at the age of 21 years, 62 days is by far the youngest to have won South Africa’s premier cricket accolade.
What makes him stand out is the fact that Rabada is trailblazing in a sport previously dominated by whites and serves as an inspiration for young black cricketers.
Cricket authority Cricinfo describes Rabada as a “strapping, genuine quick who regularly bowls in the 140-150kph range.
Rabada is the most exciting talent to emerge from South Africa in the post No.1 Test ranking era. Before he had turned 21, Rabada had already established himself as a potential leader of the attack.”
His journey to the top has been amazing.
Rabada thrust himself into the international spotlight at the 2014 Under-19 World Cup, where he took 6 for 25 against Australia in the semi-final. South Africa went on to win the title – their first – and Rabada finished as their highest wicket-taker.
Three months later, he was awarded a franchise contract with Lions and before the year was up, he had been included in the national ODI and Test squads. He made his T20 debut against Australia in Adelaide in November 2014.
Here is in my view, an example of a talent that yawns to inspire millions of South Africans who have shunned the so called minority sports for prejudicial reasons. Radaba’s success story and that of his predecessor Makhaya Ntini is inspirational and might serve as a platform for children in the townships to look into the future with pride and hope.
In addition to the main award, Rabada was named Castle Lager Test Cricketer of the Year and Castle Lager ODI Cricketer of the Year, and was honoured by his peers by being named SA Players’ Player of the Year and by the fans on being named SA Fans Player of the Year.
Impressive, isn’t it?
This is a shining beacon for young athletes across all sporting disciplines, whether it is rugby or athletics, that you can achieve anything regardless of the colour of your skin. You just have to have the talent and spice it with hard work .
– email@example.com Twitter@SimbaRushwaya