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Kashmir Bat Industry: Global Recognition and Economic Growth



  Oct 04, 2023

Kashmir's Cricket Bat Industry Hits Global Boundaries



Why is the Kashmir bat industry making headlines this year?

A: The Kashmir bat industry is gaining global attention as the Afghan cricket team will be using Kashmir willow bats in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023,
marking the first time in its 102-year history that these bats will be used in World Cup matches.

How did the Kashmir bats gain international recognition last year?

A: Kashmir bats gained international recognition when UAE player Junaid Siddique hit a 109-meter six with them during the T20 World Cup,
making it the longest six in the tournament's history. This success led to the export of over one lakh bats after the World Cup appearance.

What are the key features that make Kashmir willow bats popular?

A: Kashmir's bat industry, primarily located in Pulwama and Anantnag districts, is known for using the female cultivar of white willow, expertly shaping each cleft,
especially the middle spot and the toe blade. These bats typically weigh around 2 pounds and 7 ounces (a little over 1 kg), making them a preferred choice globally.

How has the demand for Kashmir bats increased recently?

A: The demand for Kashmir bats has seen a significant increase, with some bat manufacturing units reporting a threefold rise in demand.
They have received bulk orders from various Indian states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Delhi, and Kerala.

Why are customized bats gaining popularity among domestic cricketers?

A: Customized bats are becoming popular among domestic cricketers because they allow players to choose the weight and position of the sweet spots on the bat,
catering to their specific preferences and playing conditions.

What is the significance of the "sweet spot" on cricket bats, and how does it vary between Asia and the West?

A: The "sweet spot" on a cricket bat is a crucial area that helps players achieve the best performance. In Asia, the sweet spot remains popular at the lower
middle of the bat due to pitch conditions, as the ball tends to stay low. In contrast, in the West, the sweet spot is higher up on the bat, suited for bouncy tracks.

What historical factors contributed to the development of the Kashmir bat industry?

A: The Kashmir bat industry has its roots in the 19th century when industrialist Allah Baksh from Pakistan established the first cricket bat unit in Bijbehara's Halmulla area.
The industry gained small-scale status by 1922 and was initially used by the British who introduced cricket to India.

What challenges does the Kashmir bat industry face regarding raw materials?

A: The Kashmir bat industry faces challenges regarding raw materials as around 75,000 willow trees are cut annually to sustain production.
The industry is concerned about depleting raw material sources, with only around 3,000 trees available in a recent season.
There is a call for promoting organized willow farming to maintain a sustainable supply.

How has technology contributed to the future prospects of Kashmir bats?

A: Technology has the potential to enhance the future prospects of Kashmir bats. According to Fawzul Kabiir, the managing director of the GR8 cricket bat company,
new technology can help improve the science and specifications of Kashmir bats, making them more competitive in the international market.

What does the success and recognition of Kashmir bats mean for the region's economy?

A: The success and recognition of Kashmir bats have a positive impact on the region's economy. It boosts employment,
with around 50,000 people engaged in bat production, and enhances the export potential, contributing to the economic growth of the Kashmir Valley


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