They may be rivals on the Indian Premier League's cricket pitch but AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn are great friends and fierce competitors when playing for their national team. Little surprise then that the wicket-keeper batsman and the pacer heads the list of nominees for Cricket South Africa's professional awards for the year 2013.
According to a media release issued on Thursday, de Villiers and Steyn are two in a list of five nominees for the South African Cricketer of the Year award. The others are veteran Test and ODI batsman Hashim Amla, explosive JP Duminy and young Quinton de Kock.
De Villiers, who grabbed headlines recently for smashing 89 off 41 deliveries for Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL match, has also been nominated for the Test Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year awards. The 30-year old is currently the second best ODI batsman in the ICC rankings, second only to India's Virat Kohli. In a recent interview, Kohli declared De Villiers as the world's best.
De Villiers has been performing exceptionally well in the IPL and his best so far was when he ripped Sunrisers Hyderabad last Sunday. He was particularly forceful against compatriot Steyn's express pace.
Steyn may have lost that battle but his exploits in the international arena are well known - and feared. He has also been nominated for the Test Cricketer of the Year Award apart from T20 Cricketer of the Year and two other accolades.
The awards cover the period between May 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014 in which two ICC events -- Champions Trophy and World Twenty20 -- were held.