Keshav Maharaj of the Dolphins was named the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the 2020/21 season, capping off a successful season.

His 11 appearances in all three franchise competitions earned him a total of 316.287 points in the overall rankings. Maharaj was also named MVP of the 4-Day series, where he picked up 230.488 points in five matches.

The SACA MVP rankings combine a player’s performance across all three domestic competitions and are an indicator of consistency throughout the season. Performances in the 4-Day competition, Momentum One-Day Cup (MODC) and CSA T20 Challenge (20 overs) competitions are recognised in the SACA MVP Rankings.

Despite not playing for the Dolphins in the MODC due to international tours, Maharaj’s outstanding performances in the T20 Challenge and 4-Day series put him 33.071 points ahead of teammate Senuran Muthusamy who finished second on 283.216 points and Cobras all-rounder George Linde in third on 266.520 points.

“Winning the coveted title of the SACA MVP and the 4-Day MVP underscores the hard work that has gone into refining my own game across all formats – both in terms of my performance and fitness.

“I am really pleased to see my hard work paying off but most importantly contributing towards my team’s victories and winning of trophies. Full credit must go to the Dolphins team for the culture we have created and the hard work of management. I hope that I can carry this consistency through to the Pakistan series,” Maharaj said.

The SACA MVP rankings list the top-performing franchise players competing in Cricket South Africa’s domestic competitions using an internationally recognised formula. Points are awarded for batting, bowling, fielding, and team wins are weighted across formats to ensure critical performances in every match earn appropriate points.

Dolphins all-rounder, Robbie Frylinck won the MODC MVP award with a total of 72.626 points, edging past Jon Jon Smuts (Warriors) 69.811 points and Janneman Malan (Cape Cobras) on 63.794 points.

Frylinck is hanging up his cricketing boots after a professional career that spanned almost two decades, and the veteran made his swan song season memorable. His composure and experience at crucial times this season enabled him to pick up points for batting, bowling and hitting the winning runs. Frylinck was able to end a season on a high note.

“The past 12 months have been tough for everyone. To be the limited-overs MVP this season is rewarding and a reminder for me that hard work pays off. I have always brought passion to the field while playing the game I love and winning the limited-overs MVP is the cherry on the top of the season.”

In the T20 Challenge, Lions opening batsman, Reeza Hendricks, held his nerve throughout the T20 Challenge to play a part in his team reaching the final. Hendricks shone with the bat, topping the runs charts scoring 257 runs in seven games at an average of 36.71 to take the top spot in the T20 MVP, 89.049 points ahead of Maharaj in second with 85.799 points, and Frylinck coming in third with 81.125 points.

“The MVP Award is always something we aspire to as a measure of consistency. To have won the T20 Challenge Trophy with the Lions and top the rankings is really rewarding. Being consistent is what we all strive for and to achieve that this season when there were so many external uncertainties is a great way to prepare for the challenges ahead,” Hendricks said.

In recognition of challenges faced this season, SACA CEO Andrew Breetzke congratulated the SACA MVP winners and the incredible efforts made not only to achieve individual success but also to finish a season in such unprecedented times.

“The 2020/2021 cricket season will be remembered for the immense challenges posed by Covid-19. Despite these challenges we were able to complete the three franchise competitions, and ensure that the national pipeline remains strong. Players can be proud of the many memorable performances across the formats, and SACA is proud to recognize the excellence of the players through the SACA MVP programme,” said Breetzke.

“Congratulations to Keshav, Reeza and Robbie. Next season a new era commences as we move to a new domestic dispensation – which will bring with it a new SACA MVP,” concluded Breetzke.

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