Srinagar: At Fawzul Kabir’s cricket bat factory, workers are working double shifts to fulfill export orders.
From arranging slots to sculpting the best bats, professionals are working overtime to meet the demand.
Ahead of the ODI World Cup, the demand for Kashmir willow cricket bats has increased by 300%.
Kashmiri manufacturers are working hard to ramp up their production to meet the increased demand.
“In the last two weeks, the demand for cricket bats has increased by more than 300 percent. Over one lakh cricket bats are exported to various states per week to meet the demand,” said Kabir.
The ODI World Cup 2023 will start on October 5. This season, many international players are going to use Kashmir willow cricket bats.
Manufacturers of Kashmir willow cricket bats said they expect demand to pick up even more in the next two weeks.
“The best thing is that the demand for cricket bats is coming from all over India right now. From Maharashtra to Odisha and Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and other states, cricket lovers are preferring the Kashmiri cricket bat this season,” said Kabir.
Kabir company cricket bats will 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 cricket bats and tennis bats has increased in the recent past.
“Professional seasoned cricket bats are not only in demand. We also get a good number of orders for tennis rackets. Kashmir willow cricket bats have already appeared in IPL and other tournaments, which has given good publicity to Kashmir willow,” he said.
Khan said every cricket bat manufacturer is in a hurry to boost its stock.
The rise in demand for Kashmiri cricket bats is not limited to domestic markets. Export orders from England, Australia and New Zealand have also seen a marked increase 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.
The Jammu and Kashmir government is also working hard to get a Geographical Indication (GI) for the Kashmir willow bats.