Johannesburg: South Africa`s top-order batsman Hashim Amla has been named as the country`s Sports Star of the Year at an awards function at Sun City.
The 28-year-old batsman, who was recently appointed vice-captain of the Proteas ODI and T20 teams, pipped four other nominees -- Masters golf champion Charl Schwartzel, swimming world record holder Cameron van der Burgh, Springbok sevens flyhalf Cecil Afrika and leading Banyana Banyana goalscorer Noko Matlou -- for the top accolade at the SA Sports Awards, held for the first time in three years, yesterday.
Along with the award, Amla took home a brand new Lexus and R250,000 in cash.
Incidentally, it was Amla`s third major accolade in as many months. He had earlier won the Cricket South Africa Fans` Cricketer of the Year award at the 2011 SA Cricket Awards and was also named in the Mail & Guardian`s annual list of 200 top Young South Africans in June this year.
Amla has also been nominated for the LG People`s Choice Award due to be presented at the 2011 LG ICC Awards ceremony to be held in London on September 12.
Other nominees for the award include World Cup-winning India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, West Indian Chris Gayle, Sri Lanka`s Kumar Sangakkara and Jonathan Trott of England.