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BW Businessworld

When Wine Meets Cricket

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“Hardys Art of Cricket”, says a poster with a blown up version of  Australian fast bowling legend, Glenn McGrath, on it. The quintessentially Aussie wine brand has brought to India a merger between an old love affair and a relatively new one- that of cricket and wine.
Standing at more than 6”4, McGrath’s presence fills the room, appropriate for a former cricketing great. “I am very much a traditionalist and the history and tradition of Hardys is what drew me to it,” he says, proud of his association with 160 year old company.
Indian winemaker Sula’s import wing, Sula Selections, has been importing Hardys for the Indian taste-buds for a while now and as a part of this association, is hosting McGrath’s tour of India.
At the plush ITC Maurya, a few journalists have got the opportunity to sit down with the legendary player to talk about everything from wine to cricket. It would seem that wine and cricket were an unlikely pairing, something that McGrath acknowledges. “I would like to believe that cricket as game has become more cultured these days. In my younger days, we did have more beer but as we have grown older, our tastes have become more refined.”
Hardys is introducing two new wines to the Indian market as a part of a series called The Stamp of Australia. McGrath himself admits his fondness for the new flavours calling them perfect entry level drinks for those trying to curate a taste for the wine, something that is bound to get appreciation from the nascent Indian consumer. “There is nothing too big and bold about the flavours, which is great. It will go with Indian food as well,” he tells us. 
“The values the company has– teamwork and striving for the best,” says McGrath adding that this was what he liked the most about wine making something which he felt resonated with his own illustrious career, something that was core to his success as a player. 
The decade old McGrath Foundation for breast cancer research has also received a lot of support from Hardys. McGrath talks about this with great pride and tells us that the support he has received has been incredible and today the foundation has more than 30,000 nurses to help patients.
On being asked, he emphasizes that he has never regretted his decision to retire and has “no desire to get back into the game”. Now his ambition is to spend more time with his family and concentrate on giving back to society.     

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