Jim Pothecary was a useful right-handed lower-order batsman and a right-arm medium pace bowler who played for several seasons for Western Province in South African domestic cricket without particular distinction. But in 1959-60, he took 30 wickets at the low average of 14 runs per wicket, and was selected for the 1960 South African tour to England.
He had a disappointing tour, as did most of the South African side, and was not in the first-choice team that contested the first two Test matches. But the controversy that blew up over the fast bowler Geoff Griffin, who was called by several umpires for throwing, meant there was a vacancy to partner opening bowler Neil Adcock in the last three Tests, and Pothecary was called up. He failed to take a wicket in his first match, at Trent Bridge, but at Old Trafford he took five wickets in the drawn match. Even better followed at The Oval, where Pothecary took four wickets in the England first innings, and Adcock took six, as the home team were bowled out for just 155. But though South Africa had a first innings lead of 264, they were unable to force victory, and Pothecary failed a take a wicket in England's second innings, which opened with a partnership of 290 by Geoff Pullar and Colin Cowdrey.
Pothecary played for a few more seasons in South African cricket but was chosen for no more Tests.