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One of SA cricket’s longest-running partnerships has been cemented off the field with a new wine label, The Innings.
The brand is being launched by Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis, who teamed up with expert winemakers at Rietvallei Wine Estate in Robertson to select the wines for the label.
For more than 10 years, the two players have been regular features behind the stumps in the Proteas’s fielding efforts – Boucher as wicketkeeper and Kallis in the slips.
After Boucher’s retirement from cricket this month, it is unlikely cricket fans will see the duo in action again on an international stage.
But, at least with the launch of the The Innings, fans – and presumably the two mates – will be able to share memories of the good old days over a glass of sauvignon blanc or cabernet sauvignon.
“The wine label is about friendship and all that Mark and Jacques have accomplished, both on and off the field,” said Donné Commins, Boucher’s agent.
Speaking to the Cape Argus before his injury, Boucher said: “Jacques and I have always spoken about doing something together post-cricket and more importantly something that would involve our friends and family – (something that will) bring us all together.
“Over the years, we have had loads of braais and dinners and chatted over food and wine and we thought we would like to try our hand at winemaking.
“The Innings is something that will keep us connected and hopefully be a talking point as I move on to the next stage in my life.
“We can sit and reminisce about our travels, our cricket experiences and our Innings, together.”
While Boucher has hung up his wicketkeeping gloves, Kallis will wear a The Innings sticker on his bat in support of his friend during SA’s test against England from tomorrow.
“Mark and I have… been through the trenches together,” Kallis said yesterday.
“Developing a wine label together is just one small thing that signifies that friendship and carrying our logo at the Oval is my way of letting him know that we are still a team.”
As the test match gets under way, Boucher will be undergoing a second round of surgery to his injured left eye.
He suffered a serious laceration to the sclera (the white part of the eye) after a bail ricocheted into his face during a Proteas warm-up match.