Cricket India-Pakistan: Cricket is a passion in both India and Pakistan. It is not just a sport, but a collective emotion of the wider populace. Both the neighboring countries share the same devotion to the sport that was introduced in the subcontinent by the Britishers. With the passage of time, teams of both nations have won remarkable feats in the sport, attracting more fans than ever. However, the story is not just limited to playing the sport, both India and Pakistan are leaders in the manufacture and supply of cricketing equipment, kits, and team uniforms to other countries.
In fact, if any cricket lover wants to buy any equipment related to the sport, anywhere across the world, there’s a major chance sports companies from both these countries would fulfill the need.
This is not just because of mere chance but there is a whole story behind it.
Establishing Sports Equipment Manufacturing in India
Just like the sport itself, the manufacturing of sporting equipment was also introduced in the region by the colonial rulers. Britishers were keen on playing sports like cricket, badminton, and football. So they needed their needs to be fulfilled locally, rather than bringing all the products all the way from England. In the later part of the nineteenth century, when the Crown gained control of the Punjab region, the British officers and functionaries identified the Sialkot town of Undivided Punjab as a hub for the manufacture of sports goods.
Sialkot already had a flourishing leather industry, which serves as a base to further manufacture of sports goods like football and cricket balls. Gradually, the town developed into one of the most industrialized centers of Undivided India and the major contributor to its stature was the sports industry.
Post the partition of India in 1947, most of the Hindu and Sikh sports goods manufacturers in Sialkot were forced to move across the border and they ended up in Jalandhar district in Punjab. Jalandhar also has a large industry of leather goods and houses several tanneries. This served as the perfect base to take forward the sporting manufacturing units for the families who had come from Sialkot. Thus, within a few years, the sports industry flourished in the city, and Jalandhar was soon brought to the world map.
The years of insurgency in the late 70s and 80s forced some of the sports goods manufacturers to shift their base outside the state. The Uttar Pradesh government of the time offered tax benefits to such manufacturers to move to Meerut and establish full-scale manufacturing units.
Presently, some of the largest manufacturers of sports goods are located across these three cities which are bound together by time, and serve the needs of cricketing enthusiasts, school/college teams, council teams, and domestic and international teams across the world.