Cricket bat industry in Kashmir stares into oblivion amid growing willow cleft shortage
Srinagar : The 102-year-old cricket bat industry in Kashmir has upped its standards over the years to compete with manufacturers that work with the fabled English willow. But bat-makers fear a shortage of clefts might force closure of the Rs 300-crore enterprise that provides livelihood to over 100,000 people.
“We have been manufacturing cricket bats for the past 102 years. The quality of our bats is good and approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC). So quality-wise, we are not lacking. We are at par with (manufacturers that use) English willow, if not better,” said Fawzul Kabir, spokesperson for Cricket Bats Manufacturing Association of Kashmir.
“This was evident from the fact that the longest six in the recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia was hit using a Kashmir willow bat,” Kabir told media.