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Troubles aside, Kashmir’s bat makes it to international cricket

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By: Yasir Rather

Srinagar: Despite the fact that the cricket bat industry has faced severe crisis during past few years, Kashmir’s brand of bats has made to international cricket.

From Charsu to Bijbehara industrial area, there are almost 155 functional cricket bat making units. However, the people associated with the business revealed that the number was higher in the past.

“The protracted fragile situation in Kashmir and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the bat making industry badly. Earlier, there were 205 units, but now only 155 are functional. The production of cricket bats has also decreased significantly, from 2.5 million in 2019 to 1.5 million in 2020 and even lower now,” says Firdous Khan, proprietor of Khan International Sports (KIS).

Three and a half years ago, Firdous Khan started working on his brand of cricket bats (KIS). Prior to that, Khan who has done MBA, M.Com and diploma in International Business, had a stint with multi-national companies in Delhi.

Though the industry is facing severe troubles from past few years, the KIS brand of cricket bats has made it to international cricket.

“The players who play with our brand of bats, within the valley and outside, include International Cricketer Parvaiz Rasool, Ranji Player Ahmad Banday, Afghanistan Cricketer Shahzad Ahmad, Shamilia Connell who represents the West Indies internationally.

“In the recent Indian Premier League, Bangladeshi cricketer Mustafizur Rahman also played with our brand of the bat. We are expecting some more International Cricket stars to play with our brand in the near future,” he says.

Khan says that the aim of KIS is to promote the game of cricket and motivate the youth into sports.

“We have been sponsoring many local players by supporting them in every possible way so that they can showcase their talents at a bigger level,” he said.

According to Khan, the bat making industry is dependent on labourers from outside Kashmir. He believes that if the government will establish centres to train the local youth for the purpose, the move will lead to ample employment opportunities in Kashmir.

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