14 - April -2022

A Hawk-eyed view of the Australian Cricket Gear market

The equipment market in Australia has a lot of people trying to sell bats and protective equipment and it depends on a couple of things.

Quality of the bats: Typically, English Willow bats will command a premium and usually sell for upwards of AUD$500 to $1200 for a player’s grade bat. Kashmiri willow usually fills out the budget section of the market between $250 to $500.

Quality of the protective gear (gloves, pads etc) price points are determined by brand and perceived quality.

Brands that dominate the market - Kookaburra in both high end and budget. Grey Nicolls, New Balance, DSC have a niche due to the money they've spent sponsoring players. Brands like MRF, Adidas, Ton, SG and Masuri pop up but are hard to find.

There are also a heap of small brands that tend to be local and are usually guys that have bought a consignment of equipment from India or Pakistan and then put their own labels on them.

The question for Indian brands is what part of the market do they want to enter? If it's volume the brand/supplier wants to sell, then he needs to try to break into the retail market. Most of this gear is sold in big stores who specialise in cricket gear. It's where players would go to buy their kit. Chains to look at where you would sell your quality volume:

The next level down is your local indoor training centre that usually has a small specialty shop along with their indoor nets. Each capital city has a number of these centres. In Melbourne, a couple of centres near me are Topline Cricket and Saxons sports.

Big retail chains like Rebel sport, Inter Sport etc, tend to sell more of your budget style gear.

The third tier down is basically your backyard operator who imports some gear and sells it through his garage to local clubs etc. This section is hard work.

If the Indian brand wants to have an impact in the Australian market and move a reasonable volume, the brand is going to need to be prepared to sponsor some players with free kit, to get people aware of the brand and build a following. Men's cricket can be expensive as 1st class players will want money to use your kit, but women's cricket can be a cheaper way in. Female players in a lot of cases are just happy to have the kit and women's cricket gets plenty of coverage locally and via the WBBL.

- Kim Littlejohn (Melbourne, Australia)