Cricket is one of the most popular games in the country and its equipment are high in demand, especially stumps and bats to be played with taped tennis balls.
Three siblings and their cousin in Jhenidah's Moheshpur upazila are catering to the demand by setting up four factories where they make affordable stumps and bats for all ages.
Being unsuccessful in SSC exams in 1985, Shyamal Kumar of Bathangachi village in the upazila first took on the profession of making wood furniture. But the rising popularity of steal and plastic furniture was gradually causing a fall in the demand for wood furniture.
Finally, almost 20 years later, in 2004, Shyamal along with his two brothers Rajendra Kumar and Achinta Kumar started making cricket stumps and bats in the village. Their cousin Montu Sharma joined them ten years later.
Now each of them has a factory in the village and traders from all over the country buy their equipment at wholesale rates.
Shyamal said the changing of trade has worked out for the best as all of them are now making a decent living to support their families. On an average, each of them now makes a monthly earning of around Tk 30 thousand.
His cousin Montu said he is now solvent enough to provide for all family members including educational expenses for his children.
Locally available wood is the primary raw material for the equipment made in their factories where nearly 30 bats are produced daily, from November till May. Their choice of wood is kadam, jibon, chhatian, bhatam, nimbhut, mahogany, shishu and ipil ipil.
Other materials used during the production are glue, printed stickers with logos, lamination foil and rubber tape for grips.
Bats for children are produced in five sizes and their wholesale price range is between Tk 40 and Tk 90.
The wholesale price for their standard size bat is Tk 150. It usually sells for as high as Tk 300 at retail stores, said Shyamal.
The bats and stumps made by the brothers of Bathangachi village are of good quality and their rates are reasonable, said Mostafizur Rahman, a trader in Jhenidah town.
Bijon Kumar, who is a cricketer in Kaliganj upazila team, said when he needs tennis ball bats, his first preference is bats made by Shymal.