Sachin Tendulkar’s visit to bat manufacturing unit triggers hope for `in decline’ willow industry in Kashmir : The Tribune India

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Sachin Tendulkar’s visit to bat manufacturing unit triggers hope for `in decline’ willow industry in Kashmir

Accompanied by his wife Anjali and daughter Sara, Tendulkar visited the MJSports bat manufacturing unit in Charsoo Awantipora and remained for nearly an hour at the facility.

Sachin Tendulkar’s visit to bat manufacturing unit triggers hope for `in decline’ willow industry in Kashmir

Sachin Tendulkar visits a bat manufacturing unit at Charsoo, in Awantipora in J&K on Saturday. Photo: PTI



Our Correspondent

Srinagar, February 17

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday visited bat manufacturing units in south Kashmir, signifying a milestone for the industry. He is the first top cricketer in the world to visit such units in Kashmir Valley. Tendulkar was seen examining bats of various sizes during his visit. He also interacted with workers at these units.

Accompanied by his wife Anjali and daughter Sara, Tendulkar visited the MJSports bat manufacturing unit in Charsoo Awantipora and remained for nearly an hour at the facility.

Mohammad Shaheen Parrey, the owner of MJ Sports, was excited. “The visit will give a major boost to the Kashmir bat industry.” The region boasts over 300 bat manufacturing units in south Kashmir alone, collectively supplying around four million cricket bats within and outside the country.

In the 2022 T20 Cricket World Cup, the longest six of the tournament was struck by United Arab Emirates (UAE) batter Junaid Sidique, wielding a Kashmir willow bat manufactured by GR8 Sports, based in the Anantnag district.

While it is a successful industry here, its challenges are also notable. The decline of willow production and outflow of a significant quantity of willow from Kashmir Valley has become a major challenge for the industry. Bat manufacturers have been asking the government to initiate mass willow plantation projects on government-owned land to sustain the industry.

The industry employs around 1,50,000 workers, with 70 per cent from Meerut-UP and Punjab, and the remaining 30 per cent from Kashmir, generating over Rs 300 crore revenue. However, the shortage of willow raw material, with a 70 per cent deficit this year compared to 30 per cent last year, poses a grave concern.

#Cricket #Kashmir #Sachin Tendulkar #Srinagar


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