British Cricket Exports Bowl Over International Markets

British Cricket Exports Bowl Over International Markets
British Cricket Exports Bowl Over International Markets

New data from the Department for International Trade (DIT) shows that the business of British cricket is in robust health – thanks to a strong export performance, this industry is now worth nearly £4.5 million a year in exports alone.

Cricket bats, balls, nets and sight screens made in the UK were exported in their thousands to cricket-loving nations around the world. Sales of cricket balls to North Africa and the Middle East grew 558.9% in the decade to 2018, while sales of UK-made cricket balls to South Africa totalled £17,634 last year. Exports of cricket equipment excluding balls to Asia and Oceania grew by a whopping 271.2% in the ten years to 2018. 

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

“It’s fantastic to see the success of English cricket off the pitch translating into economic benefits for the UK. 

“British companies are making products which the world wants to buy, and for the first time the UK has an international economic department helping business succeed abroad in ways that never happened before.

“I wish English cricket every success over the next 6 weeks – both on and off the pitch.”

Tracing its history as far back as 1855, Gray-Nicolls produces cricket bats uniquely grown from its own English Willow trees cultivated across southern England. Still controlled by the Gray family, the company now exports to 69 countries, with Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean region, USA and the Middle East being the most popular destinations for their products. 

Richard Gray, Sales and Marketing Director at Gray-Nicolls, said:

“Our company prides itself on the quality of our products and have hand crafted bats for some of the most famous cricketers, from WG Grace and Brian Lara to Sir Alastair Cook and now Johnny Bairstow, who have all wielded our bats to great effect.

“Our equipment is also popular in international markets, and more than half of Gray-Nicolls products are sold outside of the UK. This is reflected in the range of international cricketing stars which use our bats, including Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Shaun Marsh (Australia), Shadab Khan (Pakistan), and Kagiso Rabada (South Africa).

“We are also proud to be the official cricket equipment supplier for the ICC and Cricket World Cup 2019 and look forward to watching the matches in the weeks ahead.”

Another business which has benefitted from this growth in exports is Cambridgeshire/Norfolk-based DEM Sports, which manufactures cricket equipment including foldaway cricket nets and sight screens for clubs, universities and schools.

The company, with which former England cricketer Devon Malcolm has been involved since it was founded in 2012, attributes 25% of its overall revenue to international exports and has supplied equipment to two-thirds of all English county cricket clubs. Among its clients is the home of English cricket, Lord’s, where the final of Cricket World Cup 2019 will be played. England will also take on Australia at the north west London ground on 25 June.

John Loveday, managing director of DEM Sports Limited, said 

“DEM Sports’ success shows the opportunities and demand around the world for high quality and innovative British cricketing products. Our equipment can now be found in clubs, universities and schools in countries from the US to Australia, and from Europe to the Caribbean.

“As cricketers from around the world come to the UK for the World Cup, and new generations of cricketers are inspired to take up the sport, we are excited to help foster this talent with our equipment – wherever in the world it can be found.

“We look forward to tapping increasing global demand with help from the Department for International Trade, which has already helped us understand new target markets and take advantage of increased global demand for British cricketing gear.”

© Cricket World 2019