SRINAGAR, OCT 03: Ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, there has been a significant rise in the demand for cricket bats made from Kashmir willow.
More than 400 factories, primarily located in south Kashmir, are actively producing these bats. This season, many international players are opting for Kashmir willow cricket bats.
These bats have been manufactured by a company GR8 Sports in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district owned by 31-year-old Fawzul Kabir.
“Since last month, the demand for cricket bats made of Kashmir willow has increased by around 400 percent. To meet this heightened demand, more than one lakh cricket bats are being supplied to various states each week,” Kabir said.
He said his company’s bats will be used by at least 17 international cricketers in the upcoming World Cup matches.
The ODI World Cup 2023 is set to kick off on October 5, and Kashmir willow cricket bat manufacturers are expecting demand to climb even further in the next two weeks, he said.
“The demand for these cricket bats is not limited to just one region. It’s coming from all over India. Cricket enthusiasts from Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Punjab, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and other states are favouring Kashmiri cricket bats this season,” he said.
Abdul Hamid, a Kashmiri botanist said both English and Kashmir willow are made from the same tree called Salix alba. “The best place to grow this tree is England and Kashmir because of weather conditions like rainfall, soil nutrients, moisture, and climate changes. They are solid and durable, with a high rebound quality and low moisture content. The raw material is the same however the only difference is colour. English willow bats shine brighter than their Kashmiri counterparts because the English willow is lighter than the Kashmir willow,” he added.