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Howzat?! Norfolk company sees business boom over World Cup

England test captain Joe Root practising in the DEM Sports cricket nets. Picture: DEM Sports

England test captain Joe Root practising in the DEM Sports cricket nets. Picture: DEM Sports

DEM Sports

A Norfolk business has been bowled over by demand as the Cricket World Cup gets into action.

John Loveday of DEM Sports with south west Norfolk MP Liz Truss. Picture: DEM SportsJohn Loveday of DEM Sports with south west Norfolk MP Liz Truss. Picture: DEM Sports

DEM Sports, which is based in Welney, manufactures cricket equipment including foldaway cricket nets and sight screens for clubs, universities and schools.

The business has already seen a rise in interest around the international tournament, having been commissioned to make four collapsible cricket nets for the Lords ground ahead of the site hosting the event.

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Managing director John Loveday, said: "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."

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Mr Loveday and his team have already made a collapsible net for Lords, but got a further order of three to be installed this week.

"We're hoping that over the course of the cricket World Cup, and then the Ashes as well, that we'll really see business take off. We already export to Asia, Australia and the US and we're hoping our new collapsible cricket nets will be taken up well," he said.

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.

"I'm not worried about Brexit because of the demand we have from the rest of the world," Mr Loveday said. "We do a bit of exporting to Spain and Germany, but we're seeing real growth in the US and Asia."

But as well as focussing attention internationally, the team is also looking to grow grassroots cricket clubs in urban areas.

Having just installed a number of nets in the Tower Hamlets, Mr Loveday said: "I think because of these tournaments we'll see a surge in interest in the sport. I'd like to think that perhaps a future England captain will learn to play in our nets." International trade secretary Liam Fox said: "It's fantastic to see the success of English cricket off the pitch translating into economic benefits for the UK."

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