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Cricket gear makers hope World Cup performance of India boosts sales

Cricket equipment manufacturers in Meerut are hoping that the defending champions India win again in this year’s World Cup, and drive up their sales.

The 2015 cricket World Cup starts in New Zealand and Australia on February 14 with Pakistan and India playing against each other on Sunday.

Shop floors at family businesses like SG, which have traditionally dominated the cricket gear manufacturing for generations, are buzzing with activity before the start of the four-yearly tournament

Paras Anand, a third generation entrepreneur at SG, the firm that his grandfather started in 1931 in Lahore before moving to India, says they completely ran out of all inventory when India won the World Cup in 2011.

“It is the World Cup time, and this time of the year there is a lot of positivity about business in the market and obviously we are expecting the business to grow. That is why you are seeing so much buzz in the factory,” Anand said.

“See if you talk about the technology, it has not changed as much. But if you talk about the requirements that these players have, because of the amount of cricket they are playing, they have become really aware of a lot of specific detail in the product and that is something that you have to be very particular about when you are making bats for the international cricketers today,” he added.

Players using SG’s products stretch from Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar to Rahul Dravid, from Virender Sehwag to Cheteshwar Pujara and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.

On the streets of Meerut’s main sports goods market in the busy Suraj Kund area, the shopkeepers are expectantly waiting for the initial spark to ignite their sales.

“The sale of our products will rise with the good performance of the Indian team. Children will be more drawn towards cricket if the team does well. If India does not win then the attraction towards cricket will go substantially down,” said Tarsem Dheer, a sports goods seller for over three decades.

He said an Indian victory over arch-foe Pakistan on Sunday could provide the flash that the industry needs to sparkle.

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