Jalandhar: There is a jalandhar connection to West Indies batsman Chris Gayle's historic double century in the ongoing World Cup tournament.
The bat which Gayle used to hit the double century was manufactured in Punjab's Jalandhar.
The 35-year-old batsman scored 215 in just 147 balls in a Pool B match against Zimbabwe at Manuka Oval, Canberra. The left-hand batsman smashed 16 sixes and 10 fours to reach the milestone.
Gayle specially got 15 bats prepared from the Jalandhar based company just before the World Cup.
All the bats were manufactured by Jalandhar based Spartan Sports Industries near Football Chowk.
Amit Sharma and Kunal Sharma, owners of the firm, confirmed that Gayle was playing with their bat and that they had supplied 15 bats to the star cricketer ahead of the World Cup.
"Gayle has been using our bats for the last two years. He demands a heavy bat weighing between 1250 gm and 1300 gm,” Sharma said.
Team India skipper MS Dhoni also uses bats manufactured by Spartan Sports Industries.
Other players from different countries using bats made by Sharma's firm include England captain Eoin Morgan and Australian captain Michael Clarke.
India's exports of sports goods are pegged at Rs 800 crore, with Jalandhar and Meerut sharing the spoils equally.
Gayle's extraordinary 16 sixes is a record for an ODI equalled only by South Africa captain AB de Villiers and India's Rohit Sharma. Gayle's career-high 215 was a World Cup record — surpassing Gary Kirsten's 188 at the 1996 tournament — and his 372-run partnership — from 318 balls — with Marlon Samuels was a record in limited-overs internationals.
It was also the fifth double century in all ODI cricket and the first by a non-Indian. Rohit Sharma has hit two double centuries whereas Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag has hit one each.