Shaun Pollock

The No. 10 who ran

Edgbaston 1999 comes back to haunt at a race track in Durban

Shaun Pollock

Text size: A | A
Lance Klusener takes a run for Allan Donald fails to make his crease at the other end, Australia v South Africa, 2nd semi-final, World Cup, Birmingham, June 17, 1999
If only El Picha was in the No. 10 shirt © PA Photos
Enlarge
Related Links

After the 1999 World Cup, the entire South African team was feeling battered and bruised. I returned to Durban for a break, and during my time off decided to go to the Durban July, the year's most popular horse race.

At the race, someone came up and asked me which horse I was going to bet on. I am not a betting man, but this is one of the country's more traditional events, and I usually have a small wager.

I really wasn't sure which horse I was going to put my money on, so I told the man that I didn't know yet. He offered me some advice: "Whatever you do, don't bet on number 10. He doesn't run."

I knew that was a reference to Allan Donald not running in the semi-final against Australia. I knew we wouldn't be able to escape the jokes about our semi-final mishap for a while.

I don't remember which horse I bet on, but what I do know is that number 10, El Picha, won the race, and I hadn't bet on it.

As told to Firdose Moonda, a freelance writer based in Johannesburg

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in Once Upon an Anecdote
RSS FeedAll
  • 'Like a ballet dancer'
    My XI: Martin Crowe on Mark Waugh's lazy elegance and batsmanship that was easy on eye
  • Sea, sun, scandal
    Diary: Our correspondent takes in the sights and sounds of Galle and Colombo, and reports on a tampering controversy
  • Worst keepers, and honours at Lord's
    Ask Steven: Also, most keeping dismissals on debut, seven-for at HQ, and youngest ODI centurions
  • From swinging London to Maco country
    Diary: Our correspondent walks and buses the streets of the English capital, and then heads for the coast
  • When Pidge strayed
    My Favourite Cricket Story: Brett Lee remembers how Australia nearly lost the Old Trafford Test in the 2005 Ashes
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet