Curb on illegal cattle transportation results in soaring cricket ball prices
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A cricket ball is made up of cow hide, and it is a known fact. So, in a country like India, where cow is revered and its slaughter is banned in most of the states, it does affect the production and pricing of a cricket ball. The margin of profit in the business encourages illegal cattle transport. But what happens when it gets curbed? Simple, the prices go high. ALSO READ: Pink ball clears the Indian test; makes successful debut at Eden Gardens.

A recent report by daily Hindustan Times throws light on the plight of the cricket ball manufacturing industry, which is facing a significant dip in the supply of illegal leather due to a check on the movement of cattle. As a result, the price of cricket balls has gone high by almost 100%. Because of the madness here, we have to import leather from the UK. This is expensive because it involves import duty and other taxes. Ultimately, it is the consumer who is suffering. A ball being sold for Rs 400 a year ago, is now Rs 800, the director of a Meerut-based brand told the daily. ALSO READ: Watch Sourav Ganguly speak on India’s first-ever pink ball match at Eden Gardens.

The industry has been hit hard by the recent incidents, especially in northern India where cow slaughter has earned severe repercussions. Earlier, the price of a cow skin sheet was Rs 600-700 but has now touched Rs 2,500. This has caused prices to double, Rakesh Mahajan, director of BD Mahajan & Sons Private Limited, said. While bigger brands are largely unaffected by it, the smaller ones have resorted to the use of buffalo hide. But it is not easier, as there are not many takers of such balls. Also if one man makes 10 balls with cow leather, the count goes to six with buffalo hide.

It is notable that in the majority of Indian states, cow slaughter is banned. However, there are few states like Kerala, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, where there is no ban on it.