IPL a boon for Kashmir cricket bat industry

A woker is seen giving proper shape to a cricket bat

SANGAM ( JK) THE success of Indian Premier League ( IPL), where the franchise owners splashed millions of dollars to acquire their favourite players this weekend, is having a positive effect on the cricket bat manufacturing industry in Kashmir as well.

As the IPL bandwagon spread to two more cities - Pune and Kochi -- in the fourth edition, the manufacturers are hopeful that the league's expansion will translate into more orders for cricket bats this winter.

The cricket bat sector in Kashmir Valley has more than 200 units, both registered and unregistered, with a collective turnover of over Rs 10 crore per year.

" The IPL has been a huge bonanza for our sector as the number of bats sold since the inception of the league has gone up. We are expecting more orders from cities like Pune and Kochi this year as these cities will be featuring also," Abdul Majeed Dar, the president of the cricket bat manufacturers' association, told PTI. Dar said over the past three years, the bat manufacturers have expanded their dealings directly to cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad and Jaipur.

" Cricket is undoubtedly the number one followed sport in every city and town of India but our business dealings were mostly restricted to big cities like Delhi, Mumbai and to some extent Bangalore. Now we have enquiries from other areas like Baroda and Indore as well," he said.

Feroze Ahmad, who has a bat manufacturing unit in this highway town, 40 kms from Srinagar, said although the first three months of the year were generally low on sales as the students across the country were busy with annual examinations, the IPL has changed that.

" Since the IPL is held in the months of March, April and May, the dealers from across the country place advance orders so that they can cash on the popularity of cricket following the conclusion of the event, which coincides with school holidays," Ahmad said. — PTI