"The Oscars of the cricket world" is what guest and cricket legend, Alan Donald, named the Cricket SA (CSA) Awards, and this year's event held on 4 June was once again one filled with pride and emotion.
From the morning's amateur awards eliciting some beautiful responses from new winners, to AB de Villiers winning a total of four awards, it was a mesmerising spectacular, both live and on television.
This year's annual Cricket Awards began with a breakfast for champions at the historic Killarney Country Club to honour and award SA's best amateur cricketers. It was inspiring to see the passion these nominees and winners have for the game of cricket, with some getting quite emotional when interviewed. The morning was made even more memorable by KFC's mini cricket Ambassador, Bakang Boikhutso, emceeing along with HD Ackerman, one of the CSA14 judges.
Next up was the golfing challenge, where cricketers had the opportunity to test their sportsmanship in a game that isn't their forte. The golf game was also an opportunity for some sporty fun with celebrity guests like Mark Williams and Thomas Msengana joining in. It was also great to see Alan Donald and Francois Pienaar on the course showing off their golfing moves.
Meanwhile, back at the Sandton Convention Centre, final rehearsals were underway for the evening event, with Mi Casa and Karen Zoid warming up and sounding great. At 6pm the cricketers began to arrive, many with their lovely wives, and the black carpet played host to some of South Africa's most glamorous people. Guests were greeted on the carpet by a representative from Twitter USA who had brought the 'Twitter Mirror' all the way over the seas to capture their special photo moments. The Twitter Mirror, seen recently at the Oscar and Grammy Awards is an iPad application that allows users to take a photo, sign a message, tag themselves and Tweet, all within a matter of seconds. It created a great buzz and some extremely funny photos were posted on the @OfficialCSA
Twitter account. But the highlight of this all this pre-event media frenzy was undoubtedly the arrival of newly appointed SA Cricket Captain, the ever-cool Hashim Amla, who graciously posed for photos and engaged with the Twitter Mirror.
The awards evening itself was an auspicious affair and attended by the Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, and it included a special tribute to outgoing captain Graeme Smith. The star of the show was AB de Villiers who walked away with four awards in total, including SA Cricketer of the Year. With his armful of trophies he ended up having to call on his beautiful wife, Danielle, to help him carry them all! Comedian Joey Rasdien kept the crowd thoroughly entertained with his hilarious interviews with the winners backstage and the evening's musical entertainment highlight was Mi Casa and Karen Zoid doing a spectacular mash-up of Jika and Jabulani which quickly had the audience on their feet.
In the digital realm, Blue Moon Corporate Communication's Events division once again pulled off an event that brought Twitter to life. Using @OfficialCSA
to share special moments and photos throughout the show, followers were encouraged to send hundreds of Tweets from all over the world, and the hashtag #CSAawards14 trended at number one in South Africa and in India.
Altaaf Kazi, Cricket South Africa representative, had this to say about the awards, "It was a flawless production on the evening. It's wonderful working with Blue Moon on the CSA Awards. Their team is loaded with highly skilled and talented professionals who pay attention to detail and are creative in ensuring a master production and event on the night."
"This is the third year in a row that Blue Moon has partnered with Cricket SA on their Awards," said Deana Heslop-Mthembu, Managing Director of Events at Blue Moon, "And we really love working with this legendary SA sporting brand, and not just because I'm a cricket fan! What a great team we had working on this production, and my heartfelt thanks goes to everyone involved and to our fabulous clients - Cricket SA."