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 near here.

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, on Sunday.

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 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.