Who Manufactures Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma’s Bats?: In the second Test between India and South Africa, in Johannesburg, KL Rahul, the stand-in captain and Man of the Match in the first Test, was seen batting without a sticker at the front of his bat.
Rahul had signed a sponsorship deal with Meerut-based SG (Sanspareils Greenlands), however, it is believed that his deal had ended at the turn of the year and hence hasn’t been using their sticker at the front of his bat in games this year so far.
Often a batsman gets remembered with his bat sponsor during his glory days – say, Sachin Tendulkar and Adidas in the last quarter of his career, Rahul Dravid with Britannia, Virat Kohli with MRF, Rohit Sharma with CEAT.
But, these are not bat manufacturing companies. These are brands that pay a hefty sum to the batters to put their sticker or logo on their willow. It is, indeed, the bat manufacturers who don’t get their recognition.
A 2016 study revealed that India manufactures 95% of the bats used by international cricketers, and has a cricket equipment industry that was estimated to be worth Rs 350 crore. Bright, emerging players generally earn contracts with manufacturers from a young age.
This practice was the norm until Kapil Dev signed a contract with Power in the late 1980s bringing a revolution. India’s World Cup-winning captain received a handsome amount sum for using the Power logo on his bats.
Since then, the renowned players would sign two contracts, one with the manufacturer for equipment and another with a sticker sponsor for income. Top-tier brands like MRF, Hero Honda, Reebok and Britannia became household names with their logo appearing on the bats on some of India’s finest.