Kashmir's willow bat industry anticipates huge sales during Indo-Pakistan Series

Anantnag (Jammu and Kashmir), Dec.25 (ANI): Manufacturers of willow cricket bats in Jammu and Kashmir rejoice as they expect a surge in enthusiasm for cricket resulting in huge sale of bats during the Twenty20 international between India and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan are to resume bilateral cricket ties with a Twenty20 international in Bangalore on Christmas Day.

The two teams will play a second T20 match in Ahmedabad before taking part in three one-day internationals in Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi.

The willow bat industry is located 40 kilometers away from Srinagar, on the banks of Jhelum at Sangam village in Anantnag District of south Kashmir, which is the hub of the Valley's cricket bat manufacturing industry.

Mainly seven villages are engaged in willow bat manufacturing, Charsoo, Hallmullaha, Bijbehara, Sangam, Sethar, Pujteng and Mirzapor in south Kashmir. All these villages fall on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway (NH 1A).

Eijaz Ahmad, a manufacturer, said that the people of the valley were fond of cricket and thus anticipated a surge in the sale of bats during the match.

"As the Pakistan team will play in India for the one day or T20 international, we will be benefited. There will be a huge sale of bats when they will come to play," said Ahmad.

Feroz Ahmad, another manufacturer, said that the youths are full of enthusiasm and are thrilled when India and Pakistan play match together.

"We get lot of benefit due to the international tournaments which take place and specially when India and Pakistan play for one day or T20, the players get excited. They want also to play and that is why there is huge demand for the bats," said Ahmad.

The last series between the two sides was Pakistan's tour of India in 2007 although Pakistan travelled to India to play the World Cup semi-final in Mohali last year. (ANI)

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