On the previous two occasions the Titans have hosted the eKasi Challenge, it has been held at the Mamelodi Oval, but this year it shifts to north of Pretoria to the little township town on the border with the North West Province.
None more so than pace bowler Alfred Mothoa, who was born in Hammanskraal on what is now called the Day of Reconciliation, December 16, 1989, and went to school there at Tipfuxeni Secondary and is a development product through and through.
Mothoa enjoyed his breakthrough season in 2016/17 as he took 20 wickets at an average of just 17 to help spearhead Northerns’ charge to the three-day title. He also made his four-day debut for the Titans, producing a highly encouraging performance that saw him claim four wickets in the match against the Warriors and earned him a full franchise contract.
So as delighted as Mothoa is to be returning to his roots, so the residents of Hammanskraal will welcome him back as a son of the soil who has made it in cricket.
“The eKasi Challenge is a really good initiative and if it can get more township people playing then that will make me very happy. I started playing there when I was 16 years old, just club cricket, and I didn’t expect anything. I didn’t even know what a grass pitch was until I played on one there for the first time!
“I always want to make the people at home proud, especially my brother Ikgomotseng, whose dream was to play for the Titans but he’s now the administrator of the Hammanskraal Cricket Club. I came under his wing growing up and I fell in love with cricket,” Mothoa says.