Over the years, the preferred brand of the majority of elite cricketers from J&K has established itself at the national and international levels.
After having made its IPL debut in 2021 when Bangladesh cricketer MustafizurRehman used a KIS bat, the Kashmir bat once again made its appearance in the cash-rich league recently when Afghanistan cricketer FazalhaqFarooqi played with a KIS bat.
Farooqi plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2023 and he batted using a KIS bat against Gujarat Titans.
The well-known Kashmir brand was formed by two brothers Firdous Khan and Shiraz Khan of Anantnag district in the year 2017 and since then there has been no looking back for the duo. Apart from having a bat manufacturing unit in Bijbehara, Kashmir, the KIS also operates a unit in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh to manufacture other cricket merchandise and equipment.
The KIS brand over the years has been used by Bangladesh Cricketer Tajul Islam while playing for the Bangladesh cricket team. The KIS bat was also used by former Afghanistan International Shahzad Ahmed during Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). In BPL, the KIS bat was used by around five to six cricketers. The reach of the KIS bat has been among the Women’s International cricketers also with a couple of West Indian and Bangladesh women cricketers having used the KIS bat during their International duties.
“It was a proud moment to see our own Kashmir brand, KIS getting displayed in the middle of the IPL which is amoung the top sports leagues in the World. IPL has reached the level where it is stepping ahead of the top World leagues. In that context to see our Kashmir brand used by a player is a big boost to our product and the entire Kashmir bat industry, ” saidFirdous Khan, co-owner of KIS.
“FazalhaqFarooqi is an Afghanistan International cricketer who plays for Sunrisers. We are thankful to him for getting out and using our product. It raises the trust and acceptance level of the brand and Kashmir bats,” Firdous said.
In J&K almost every top J&K cricketer including the majority of Ranji cricketers uses KIS bats. The only International cricketer from Kashmir ParvezRasool has been associated with KIS since its beginning and he has played a big role in the promotion of KIS.
“Being a leading Kashmir brand, our own J&K top cricketers trust our product. It shows that it is worth it and quality is of top level,” he said.
“ParvezRasool is the pride of Kashmir a brand himself. He has played a big role in making the KIS a household name. Despite getting offers from big brands, Parvez opted to use and promote Kashmir’s own brand. It shows how much he loves local cricket and how much he wants to contribute to the local industry,” Firdous said.
The KIS head also revealed that KIS currently is sponsoring more than 110 cricketers of J&K.
“For us, KIS is not just a company but a way of promoting local talent. Currently, KIS is sponsoring more than 110 local talented cricketers of J&K. Cricket is a costly sport, with kit costing a hefty some. Whenever someone recommends a needy talented cricketer for sponsorship, we do the needful. It has also helped us to create a better image, among cricketers,” he said.
Firdous said that they get product requests from different parts of the World.
“We are receiving regular product queries and requests from different countries. Apart from that we get regular requests from all over India and we courier our products,” Firdous said.
The cricket bat and product manufacturer also requested J&K Government to promote Kashmir bat Industry in a big way.
“We have huge potential in this area but it needs special focus and attention. We are hopeful that Government comes forward to address the shortfalls,” he said.
Credits and story – Greater Kashmir