ICC T20 World Cup | Made in Kashmir gear scores right off the bat in international debut

 

In the Kashmir Valley, young entrepreneurs like Fawzul Kabeer (GR8 Sports) are no longer content to sell Kashmiri willow wood and unbranded cricket bats.



Anantnag: Fawzul Kabeer, a Kashmir-based sports entrepreneur, got emotional when Oman in the opening match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 cricket World Cup on October 17, beat Papua New Guinea.

At his home in south Kashmir’s Sangam, Anantnag, Kabeer was over the moon as he watched the match on television. Some Omani players had been using bats and sports gear manufactured at a unit he owns and runs in south Kashmir.

“It was not just an emotional day but a historical day for the bat manufacturing fraternity in Kashmir. It is the hard work of seven years which is finally paying off today,” Kabeer said.

Cricketing legends like Sir Vivian Richards, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar have previously used Kashmir willow bats, but this is the first time bats manufactured in Kashmir are being used by international cricket players in a mega event like the T20 World Cup.

Kabeer, who is the owner of GR8 Sports, said that Omani players including Bilal Khan, Kaleemullah and wicketkeeper-batsman Naseem Khushi had agreed to play with the bat and other equipment manufactured at his unit.

The 7-kilometer stretch of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is one of two places in the world that produce professional bats made of willow—the other being England.

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