Srinagar: At Fawzul Kabir’s cricket bat factory, workers are working in double shifts to finish export orders.
From arranging clefts to chiseling the finest bats, the professionals are working overtime to meet the demand.
Ahead of the ODI World Cup, Kashmir willow cricket bats demand has increased by 300 percent.
Kashmiri manufacturers are working hard to boost their production to meet the increased demand.
“For the last two weeks, the demand for cricket bats has increased by more than 300 percent. More than one lakh cricket bats are being exported to various states per week to meet the demand,” Kabir said.
ODI World Cup 2023, will start from October 5. This season, many international players are going to use Kashmiri willow cricket bats.
Kashmir willow cricket bat manufacturers said they anticipate the demand to go even higher in the coming two weeks.
“The best thing is that demand for cricket bats is coming from the entire India right now. From Maharashtra to Odisha and Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and other states, cricket lovers are preferring Kashmiri cricket bat this season,” Kabir said.
Kabir’s company-made cricket bats are going to be used by at least 17 international cricketers in the World Cup matches.
South Sports Goods Manufacturers Association spokesperson Firdous Ahmad Khan said the demand for both seasoned and tennis cricket bats has surged in the recent past.
“Professional seasoned cricket bats are not only in demand. We get a good number of orders for tennis bats as well. Kashmir willow cricket bats already featured in IPL and other tournaments, which did a good publicity of Kashmiri willow,” he said.
Khan said that every cricket bat manufacturer is rushing to beef up their stock.
The surge in demand for Kashmiri cricket bats is not limited to domestic markets. Export orders from England, Australia, and New Zealand have also seen a notable uptick as the World Cup approaches
Currently, Kashmir has 400 factories manufacturing cricket bats. Over 1.5 lakh people are directly and indirectly associated with this trade.
Jammu and Kashmir government is also working hard to get a geographic indication (GI) for Kashmir willow bats.