Top honour for Warriors stars Qeshile and Nortje

YOUNG GUN: Sinethemba Qeshile has been named as one of SA Cricket Annual's players of the year
YOUNG GUN: Sinethemba Qeshile has been named as one of SA Cricket Annual's players of the year
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Warriors wicketkeeper-batsman Sinethemba Qeshile was named on Thursday as one of the youngest SA Cricket Annual Cricketers of the Year in the 66-year history of the publication.

Qeshile, 20, is the youngest recipient of the honour since Kagiso Rabada, who was also 20 when he was selected in 2015.

The youngest all-time recipient remains batting legend Graeme Pollock, who was 17 when he was recognised in 1961.

Named alongside Qeshile were his Warriors teammate, fast bowler Anrich Nortjé, Lions duo Reeza Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius and Titans batsman Theunis de Bruyn.

Unlike the official Cricket SA awards, a player can be honoured only once in the annual, which excludes many of the established Standard Bank Proteas stars, who have previously been recognised.

Qeshile had an outstanding breakout season as a teenager last season, scoring 735 first-class runs at an average of 52.50.

He also shone in limited overs cricket and was rewarded when he was selected for SA in two T20 internationals against Sri Lanka.

Qeshile made a promising start to the current season when he hit 73 for the Warriors against VKB Knights in a four-day match in Kimberley, but since then appears to have struck something of a “second season syndrome” with a string of modest scores.

But he has a chance to reignite his season when he represents defending champions the Jozi Stars  in the Mzansi Super League.

The 2019 SA  Cricket Annual, on sale at leading bookshops, features detailed tributes to retired stars Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn, an examination of the Kolpak effect on SA cricket and a profile of Enoch Nkwe, the interim team director of the national side, following his successful season as coach of the Lions.

Edited by Colin Bryden, the annual tracks the highs and lows of the 2018/2019 cricket year from national to age-group level and is packed with detailed statistical information.