Hartford House is a popular haunt among sportsmen the world over, and it's magnet for those with a sense of history, with a taste of the culinary comforts, appreciation of good conversation, classic horses and fine wines. Yesterday, we hosted fourteen journalists from across the world, just as our ex-Proteas cricket captain, Shaun Pollock and his gorgeous wife Trish were departing us. We've all been watching Shaun, as the South African representative on the commentary panel at the Investec Test Series, which ended in triumph for the Proteas over England. How formidable a panel of commentators was this, with four ex English captains, Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussein, and as good a cricketer as we've ever produced in Shaun Pollock, who looks not a day older than he did as our captain in 2003. That says something for the way he's been kept.
The "Pollys" are foodies in their own right, and thank heavens they ignored the advice of a close friend who suggested they might not be able to find a booking at Hartford in view of its popularity, since they'd left things a little late. It's true, Hartford is just about as popular as any venue in the country, particularly on weekends, but we generally have something available mid-week, and in this case, it was so. They were here to celebrate a special birthday (no telling, no packdrill), and Shaun is now winging his way back to England for the "one- dayers". He assures us we'll be able to cope with the Poms again in the shortened version, even without Jacques Kallis, whose home on a break. From Shaun's mouth Mr Captain, to God's ears!