Cricketers from Oman have agreed to play with the bats, which are manufactured in the valley, for their campaign in the shorter format of the ICC World Cup.
Kashmir-made willow bats have made it to the world arena, with a few players from the Oman cricket team using Kashmiri bats in the much-anticipated ICC T20 World Cup. This is a significant success for the bat business in Jammu and Kashmir.
People who have worked in the business for decades claim that this is the first time an international player has used a Kashmir-made willow bat.
Oman cricketers using Kashmir-made bats
According to them, there are about 300 bat manufacturing units in the Industrial region of southern Kashmir from the Sangam area to Awantipora. However, it is for the first time that a bat from one of these units has been chosen by a few players from the Oman cricket team for their campaign in the ICC T20 World Cup.
The manufacturers say that such a feat would open the way for other units to follow and that in the future, bats from other units will be used by more well-known international players.
Bats manufactured under GR8 Sports brand
A young MBA graduate of the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Awantipora, Fawzul Kabir spoke to a local news outlet about the development. Fawzul said that a few players from the Oman cricket team agreed to play with their bats after arduous efforts.
The bats are manufactured under the brand label GR8 Sports, the industrial unit located in Anantnag district’s Halmulla Sangam area.
As per the young entrepreneur, few players consented to play with the bat produced at his unit in the T20 World Cup presently being played in the UAE.
The firm only produced raw bat material earlier
The youngster, who owns GR8 Sports after inheriting the firm from his late father, said the manufacturing unit was founded in 1974.
Previously, the firm prepared raw bat material only, which was then shipped to Jalandhar, Meerut, and other places, where the bats were manufactured and sold under their own brand label. However, Fawzul realized the loss and started to produce finished bats at his local unit.
It is imperative to note that several players in the Oman cricket team are playing with the bats produced by GR8 Sports, which include Mohammad Naseem Khushi and Bilal Khan.
The Kashmir-based bat manufacturer now hopes to see their bats in the hands of famous cricketers like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam.
Dil-Paziir (Urdu; meaning ‘heart pleasing‘) is a special edition positive news series brought to you by Digpu, sourced from conflict areas, starting from Kashmir. Our local journalists have successfully shared many inspirational stories from the valley – from the invention of E-Charkha, automatic ventilator in Kashmir, stories of brotherhood through to the first-ever cricket tourney for Blind sportsmen, all the stories make us awe-struck. These are NOT FOR REPRODUCTION.