The International Cricket Council have named AB de Villiers ODI Player of the Year for 2014 – but how have he and other South Africans fared at the awards in the past?
The inaugural International Cricket Council awards in 2004 didn’t feature any South Africans in the Player of the Year categories, but batsman Herschelle Gibbs and the talented Jacques Kallis were selected for the World Test XI. Kallis and fellow all-rounder Shaun Pollock, too, cracked the nod for the World ODI XI.
Kallis shared the coveted Player of the Year accolade with Englishman Andrew Flintoff in 2005 – and was named Test Player of the Year. The South African-born Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, arrived on the international scene as the ODI Player of the Year and Emerging Player of the Year – for England. Opening batsman Graeme Smith and Kallis were recognised with World Test XI selection.
South Africa’s rather barren 2006 was consoled by fast bowler Makhaya Ntini’s presence in the World Test XI, amid a bowling attack led by Australians Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan and Flintoff.
Johannesburg hosted the 2007 ICC awards, with Ntini again in the World Test XI – and Kallis and wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher named in the World ODI XI.
The 2008 awards were particularly good to South Africa, as pace ace Dale Steyn took the Test Player of the Year trophy and Smith was acknowledged as captain of the World Test XI, which also boasted the services of Kallis and Steyn. Gibbs was chosen for the World ODI XI.
The ceremony returned to Johannesburg in 2009, when batsman AB de Villiers formed the backbone of the World Test XI middle order – and Steyn featured in the same hypothetical outfit again.
2010 saw De Villiers promoted to ODI Player of the Year and Steyn picked for the World Test XI for a third consecutive year. Batsman Hashim Amla and Kallis accompanied the fast bowler in the esteemed team. There was room, too, for de Villiers in the World ODI XI.
The South African-born Jonathan Trott, playing for England, secured the ICC Cricketer of the Year award in 2011. The Cape Town-bred Ryan ten Doeschate, now with the Netherlands, enjoyed the limelight as the ICC Associate Player of the Year. Amla, De Villiers, Kallis and Steyn – for a fourth year in a row – were selected for the World Test XI. Steyn’s form, too, extended to World ODI XI notoriety.
Richard Levi’s world record-breaking century against New Zealand brought the Best T20 Performance of the Year accolade in 2012 and World Test XI selection greeted Steyn for a resounding fifth year on the trot. Seamer Vernon Philander also joined the pack, while Kallis and Amla were retained – and De Villiers was named 12th man. Fast bowler Morne Morkel, meanwhile, formed part of the World ODI XI attack.
A sixth consecutive year in the World Test XI greeted Steyn in 2013, while De Villiers returned to the middle order. He and Amla complemented World Test XI selection with World ODI XI notoriety, too.