KwaZulu-Natal Coastals wicket-keeper batsman Jason Oakes walked away with the coveted KNZCU Player of the Season award at the KZNCU Durban and District Cricket Union (DDCU) Awards at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Having played a crucial part in the KZN Coastals’ first ever Sunfoil 3 Day Cup title victory, Oakes’ season culminated in a debut for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their Sunfoil Series clash with the Warriors in March this year.
Despite scoring 333 runs at an average of 47.57, with a top score of 102 through the first class season, the former Westville Boys High School pupil heaped praise on his fellow championship winning team mates who he felt were hugely influential on him winning this award.
“I could only score the runs I did because of the batsman I had around me and because I faced arguably the best bowling attack in the country at every practice session,” Oakes said. “Everyone wanted to put up their hand every game, and it showed, with everyone making big scores or taking 3-plus wickets at some point during the season.
“Every time I went out to bat I knew exactly what I had to do , and I think that goes for everyone in the team.”
Oakes, who is currently in the United Kingdom playing a season of club cricket there, was unable to be at the awards to collect his award but singled out his debut for the Dolphins as a pivotal moment in the season.
“Making my debut has been the highlight of my career, and a dream come true.
“The players and the coaches made it very easy to feel like part of the team, and were instrumental in preparing for the game and letting me know that I deserved to be there.
“I’d like to thank the Dolphins for giving me the opportunity, and to my provincial teammates and coaches for supporting me, backing me, and setting high standards throughout the season,” a humble Oakes added.
Amongst the other winners was Richard Wissing, who won the award for KZN Academy Player of the Year, and another Dolphins debutant Zakariya Paruk who won the award for Most Improved Provincial Player.
The final award of the evening, the KZNCU Presidents Award, presented by Fa-eez Jaffer went to Maggs Reddy. Jaffer mentioned the role that Reddy has played behind the scenes as a cricket administrator over many years. From ground and pitch preparation to fetching people for club matches, he has given so much of his time to the game of cricket in KwaZulu-Natal.
2017/2018 KZNCU Award Winners
Blind Cricketer of the Season: Mxolisi Collin Ziaode
Deaf Cricketer of the Season: Xolani Mbatha
Intellectually Impaired Cricketer: Themba Mzila
SA Women’s Team: Chloe Tryon
Scorer of the Season: Margie Strang
Academy Player of the Season: Richard Wissing
Coach of the Season: Siyabonga Gumede
KFC Mini Cricket Coach of the Season: Rebecca Ramjugath
Umpire of the season: Nolan Bartleson
Castle Women’s League A League Winner: Simplex RHCSC
Castle Challenge League Stream 1 League Winners: ACC
Castle Premier League Winner: Crusaders
U13 Player of the Season: Tristan Naicker
U15 Player of the Season: Cade Carmichael
U17 Rural Player of the Season: Mayurin Logenathan
U17 Player of the Season: Robbie Koenig
U19 Girls Player of the Season: Jade De Figueiredo
U19 Player of the Season: Matthew Montgomery
Senior Rural Player of the Season: Neill Jordan
Women’s Provincial Player of the Season: Nondumiso Shangase
Provincial Bowler of the Season: Keith Dudgeon
Provincial Batter of the Season: Mishkal Ramsaroop
Most Improved Provincial Player: Zakariya Paruk
Provincial Player of the Season: Jason Oakes
KZN Presidents Award: Maggs Reddy
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