SRINAGAR: In a significant boost to the Kashmir bat industry, a renowned Kashmiri willow brand makes its second appearance in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Khan International Sports (KIS) makes a return to the IPL as Afghanistan cricketer Fazal Haq Farooqi, representing Sunrisers Hyderabad, plays with a bat manufactured by KIS. This follows a previous instance where a Bangladesh cricketer used their bat.
Firdous Ahmad Khan, the owner of the brand, shared that his family has been associated with the bat industry since the 1990s, initially catering to local players. Taking charge of “Khan International Sports” in 2017, he expanded the manufacturing of cricket kits and promoted them internationally.
The brand has already gained acceptance at the international level, with players like Tajul Islam from Bangladesh, Shahzad Ahmad from Afghanistan, and women cricketers from West Indies and Bangladesh endorsing their products.
To ensure quality production, Khan established connections in Meerut, known as a cricket accessories hub, and set up a manufacturing unit there. Willow clefts from England are sourced for bat manufacturing and other cricket items.
Additionally, Firdous initiated the same work at his residence in Pujteng Sangam Anantnag, promoting bats and accessories globally to address the need for quality products in contrast to a focus on quantity.
The brand is in touch with renowned international cricketers, aiming for their endorsement in international cricket soon. The success of KIS is attributed to the support and promotion received from Kashmir’s only international cricketer, Parvez Rasool.
KIS currently receives product inquiries from different countries and regularly dispatches products. With around 50 employees, mostly locals, the company sponsors over 100 talented cricketers from Kashmir, in addition to being favored by many J&K cricketers, including those in the Ranji Trophy. (KNO)