Alfred Mothoa put Tipfuxeni Secondary School in Stinkwater, Hammanskraal on the cricket map, despite a relatively late introduction to the game at age 15.
While he was playing for the Impala side in Limpopo, Mandla Mashimbyi, current assistant coach of the Multiply Titans, spotted him, and within months, he made his debut for the Northerns semi-professional team.
Few observers would have thought he would make an impact in the 2016/2017, as fate intervened cruelly when he broke a thumb during the Africa T20-Cup.
In December he returned, but the first two games for Northerns were frustrating. He only bowled 11 overs in Oudtshoorn against South Western Districts and eight against Easterns in his next game.
“I told Mark Charlton, the coach, that my rhythm was not right and that I did not feel comfortable.”
Yet, despite his slow return to form, the Multiply Titans inserted him in the team against the Warriors and the super fit Mothoa bowled 41 overs, capturing 4-83 and fulfilling the dual role as pressure builder and striker expertly.
“But I think the highlight of my season was in the final against the Free State, when in eight consecutive overs just before lunch, I captured four wickets,” he said.
“My team mates used to call me Harmison (after England’s Steve Harmison). But I changed my length. I am bowling fuller now and has more of a Vernon Philander-like style in the sense that I maintain a probing length and get late nip.”
“I currently operate at 130 km/h, but I want to gain pace and I am aiming for between 135 and 140 km/h, because that way, the batsmen cannot change their shot that easily.”
The new addition as a professional player for the Multiply Titans, is a multi-skilled fast bowler with enormous potential to improve.
Now Mothoa is affectionately known as Snick-Snick Mothoa because he gets disconcerting bounce and movement and often finds the edge of the bat which results in catches taken at first or second slip.
He finished with 20 wickets in six matches at an average of 17, an indication that Mothoa, like Philander, can be very miserly, while still taking scalps.
“My main aim is to represent the Multiply Titans regularly. Ultimately, I want to get into the national team. But, to be very honest, I don’t want to get into the national team in the T20-format or One Day International-format first, but rather become a Test player,” he added.